Guest Post: Legal Highs

May 23rd, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

A guest post by William Reid:

It is increasingly obvious that the prohibition of what legal highs attempt to replicate is shortsighted. People will continue to do whatever it is that they choose to do, which in this case is experimenting with a plant that has grown naturally for thousands of years. Whether or not this plant is illegal is irrelevant to them.

As it stands, the prohibition delivers three hits to New Zealand. The first is the cost of fighting violent cartels and this cost will only increase. This is a ‘war’ that will not end, so would it not be a better state of affairs if New Zealanders did not break the law and fund violent cartels every time they indulged?

The second hit is the lost revenue because of non-taxation. Instead of giving violent cartels an enormous revenue stream, why does the government not collect tax on the product so as to pay for its detrimental effects? A similar state of affairs exists with both alcohol and cigarettes, both of which would be illegal if judged by the same criteria as marijuana. There would be boosted revenues for the government in G.S.T, income tax and company tax, aside from the thousands of jobs that would be created for those in the industry.

The third hit is the lost entrepreneurial nous from a vast array of pragmatic, cunning and intelligent businesspeople. Skeptics please bear with me, but, from an objective standpoint, they run highly organized businesses that must continuously adapt to a rapidly changing and highly competitive business environment. Three regions in particular would benefit from these businesses becoming legitimate, Northland, Hawkes Bay and the West Coast of the South Island.

Decriminalisation would prevent ordinary, otherwise-law-abiding citizens from consuming public resources. The next step to legalisation would prevent violent cartels, with no respect for any laws, from controlling an enormous market that is currently off the books and has the potential to provide an economic boost to the regions of New Zealand.

None of these arguments are original and many may dismiss them, but these are discussions that are required. It is apparent to even those who do not partake in recreational inhalation that the current laws are in need of revision. 

People will continue to put anything they can find into their body, managing a problem by treating the causes is far better than reacting to the symptoms.

I think the results of what happens in Colorado and Washington states, which have legalised, will be influential. If those states do not have an increase in drug consumption and drug related harm, then other states and eventually countries will follow suit.

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72 Responses to “Guest Post: Legal Highs”

  1. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “……Instead of giving violent cartels an enormous revenue stream, why does the government not collect tax on the product so as to pay for its detrimental effects?….”

    Well firstly it’s good to see that you believe that drug use is detrimental – other advocates for drug legalisation seldom say that.

    Anyway, ‘treating drug addicts for their health needs’ is nothing more than a council of despair.

    In other words “What is it that drug addicts are doing that is so wrong – when drug use is legal?”

    That’s how drug addicts see it – just like alcoholics currently do – “I have a disease -alcoholism- so it’s not me that’s at fault! – the ‘disease’ makes me drink.”

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  2. iMP (2,330 comments) says:

    People continue to commit murder and cheat on their taxes. So, shall we legalise that, too?

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  3. Redbaiter (7,962 comments) says:

    Singapore has no problem dealing with drugs for these reasons-

    1) The primary one. Its people are civilised and sensible and family orientated.

    2) They have backed the govt in fighting the problem.

    3) The govt knows the real source of the problem is cultural Marxists bent on fracturing and dissolving our traditional society.

    4) The govt has taken to the task of policing drug laws with the conviction other western govts sadly lack.

    Drugs would easily be beaten in NZ with the same strategies.

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  4. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “…..People will continue to put anything they can find into their body, managing a problem by treating the causes is far better than reacting to the symptoms…..”

    So you mean – Why do they do it? – Isn’t that the question that reasonable health professionals would ask and seek to answer?

    There are far more victims of drug use than just the user – parents, children, siblings, neighbours, the employer, shop owners who are victims of youth shop lifting and staff theft, the wider community, and lastly GDP.

    Drug addiction is seldom dealt with from the outset of the problem – it’s after a dozen other people have become victims either directly or indirectly when the matter is finally starting to be addressed.

    It’s nearly always because there are REAL victims – which lead to the user FINALLY getting help. Just ask the police.

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  5. JMS (313 comments) says:

    People continue to commit murder and cheat on their taxes. So, shall we legalise that, too?

    And the award for the dumbest argument of the day goes to : iMP !

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  6. JMS (313 comments) says:

    Singapore has no problem dealing with drugs for these reasons

    Singapore is a tiny city state with a traditionally obedient population.

    Suggesting drugs could be “beaten” in NZ with Singaporean policies is just totally naive.

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  7. Unity (392 comments) says:

    Given William Reid’s argument then why stop at decriminalising legal (now illegal) highs and cannibas? Surely cocaine, heroin etc should be argued in the same way. The drug user is only one small cog in who is affected by their use. Their actions reverberate onto a whole host of other people and cost this country dearly.

    I think Redbaiter has the best answer. Follow Singapore’s example. Their way actually works.

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  8. stephieboy (2,493 comments) says:

    Redbaiter, yes I always thought how a paternalist nanny and authoritarian state had a strong appeal for the like of you .

    http://trulysingapore.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/singapore-is-authoritarian/

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  9. JMS (313 comments) says:

    Their actions reverberate onto a whole host of other people

    If drug users commit a crime against others, then charge them.

    Redbaiter’s collectivist, Marxist-type approach is both freedom-hating and furthermore wouldn’t even work here.

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  10. MT_Tinman (3,043 comments) says:

    Mr Reid is obviously ashamed of the drug he wishes decriminalised, otherwise he would have named it.

    How can we take his argument seriously in that case?

    For mine, I would support decriminalisation only for home use by the grower.

    No sales, no gifts – and no tax.

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  11. FlashinthePan (15 comments) says:

    Agreed JMS, Singapore would fit inside Lake Taupo so even logistically the challenges are on a completely different level. Kiwis are much less submissive as a culture so the comparison is irrelevant. Maybe Weddie should move there if Singapore is so wonderful.

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  12. Redbaiter (7,962 comments) says:

    The same old clueless responses.

    If you want to repel those who threaten your freedoms you take out their big guns first.

    Drugs are one of the primary devices they use in their battle to impose a one party state socialist/ Marxist state.

    If you are an adult and take drugs, and encourage their use, then you’re treating your own children and your own country’s future with utter contempt.

    However this is all by the by.

    Above we have many claiming the war on drugs is unwinnable. Singapore demonstrates that to be nothing but a convenient lie.

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  13. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “…..People continue to commit murder and cheat on their taxes. So, shall we legalise that, too?

    And the award for the dumbest argument of the day goes to : iMP !….”

    How?

    We legalised no faults divorce and more people have been murdered because of that – than because we didn’t legalise it.
    Just look at the domestic homicide rate before no faults divorce was introduced – it was far far lower.
    Apparently having women and children being shot to death is now far better than having some women being slapped occasionly!

    Likewise the legalisation of drugs – are you really going to believe that there will be far less killings over drugs when the police are removed from the scene?

    The price of drugs won’t go down because taxes and the cost of ‘drug education, drug healthcare, drug research, user research – and the ‘victim’s commissioner’ will stop them from becoming cheaper.

    Drug damaged users will simply resort to standing over younger and smaller users – so as to steal their pot and sell it for P. That’s a dangerous situation to be in.

    And besides, to prove that P ect will be around in volume for a long time yet- are gang members really going to stop selling other drugs and get a job because pot is now legal?

    No of course they won’t – as the cost differential between the likes of P and pot will now be less – as the druglords will meet the market – because they don’t want to work!!

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  14. JMS (313 comments) says:

    Redbaiter,

    face it, you’re a Marxist coated with a thick layer of blue paint.

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  15. altiora (216 comments) says:

    Redbaiter: What’s with the love affair with Singapore? Maybe if you left the sanitized tourist circuit and actually saw the “real” Singapore, you’d know it has got a festering underbelly like any other major metropolis. There is apparently quite a roaring trade for drugged out rent boys, if your tastes incline in that direction…

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  16. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    Redblather
    Singapore is not western, is not democratic. It is to all intents a one party state.

    You call yourself freedom loving :lol: I call you a authoritarian control freak.

    I suggest you remove your self to your nirvana and continue your blogging* You will not last The year before your life is destroyed, your freedom removed and your arse soundly whipped

    *http://en.rsf.org/singapore.html

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  17. Redbaiter (7,962 comments) says:

    “face it, you’re a Marxist coated with a thick layer of blue paint.”

    No, people who push for drug legalisation are the true Marxists.

    Part of the reason Singapore is not Marxist is that they don’t have any significant drug culture, and that in turn is why they are so much higher on every economic and social indicator than drug riddled NZ.

    Also why they have a law book about one tenth the size of NZ.

    http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Lifestyle/Cannabis-use

    Find Singapore on that list.

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  18. Jack5 (4,818 comments) says:

    If marijuana were legalised, surely there would need to be another state campaign against smoking it on the lines of the campaign against tobacco.

    A possible slogan: marijuana not only stuffs your lungs, but can turn you into a schizophrenic.

    To pay for this campaign and care of the consequent cases of physical and mental illness from legalised cannabis, there would have to be a considerable duty on marijuana sales. This would boost the price on the street and lead to continuing black market production of cannabis.

    Then we are just about back to where we are now.

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  19. JMS (313 comments) says:

    Part of the reason Singapore is not Marxist is that they don’t have any significant drug culture, and that in turn is why they are so much higher on every economic and social indicator than drug riddled NZ.

    The biggest contributor to excessive drug use in NZ is the welfare state. Less nannying is the solution, not more.

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  20. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    ““face it, you’re a Marxist coated with a thick layer of blue paint.”

    The middle of the road Nat party is Marxist painted in blue paint.

    J Key is a socialist Keysnian economist along with Labour.

    The whole western world is keysnian socialist.

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  21. Redbaiter (7,962 comments) says:

    “The biggest contributor to excessive drug use in NZ is the welfare state. Less nannying is the solution, not more.”

    FFS, if you were half as smart as you think you are you would realise its all linked.

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  22. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    “Less nannying is the solution, not more.”

    Boot camps with education.

    Not just boot camps for the sake of punishment.

    any govt that educated youth would be seen to be making advances.

    Of course, there is no student debt for the state so educating youth along with discipline is pie in the sky rhetoric

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  23. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “……Suggesting drugs could be “beaten” in NZ with Singaporean policies is just totally naive…..”

    Don’t you know the demographics of Auckland?

    Anyway, Singapore’s leader once told Paul Keating that Aussie will become the white trash of Asia. Time has proved him right.

    NZ is now full of white trash too – just look at who is doing best year on year in Auckland!

    Go tell your kids that spending money on drugs, associating with drug users, and wasting their time in general will give them rich rewarding lives – and that they will be looked up to for being productive members of NZ society – by Asian kiwis!!!!

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  24. JMS (313 comments) says:

    FFS, if you were half as smart as you think you are you would realise its all linked.

    So tell me, how much of a problem did we have with drug abuse before the event of the welfare state?
    The fact that you can’t earn a living when you’re intoxicated naturally forces you to change or die.
    Natural selection is a fact.
    No big nanny DEA/moral-police etc needed, unless of course you just love telling others what to do.

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  25. Redbaiter (7,962 comments) says:

    “unless you just love telling others what to do.”

    You moron. Go out rape steal and kill then.

    A civil society has a responsibility to enact laws that preserve it and deter acts that destroy it.

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  26. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    What is it with Reddy’s adoration for Singapore? Unusual, to say the least.

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  27. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “……Redbaiter, yes I always thought how a paternalist nanny and authoritarian state had a strong appeal for the like of you …..”

    Red has never suggested that all the laws of Singapore be introduced to NZ.

    But you already knew that Staph-boi.

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  28. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Reddy has always suggested that Singapore is a better place than New Zealand because of its smaller welfare state and authoritarian government.

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  29. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    Gee thanks redblather the only state on that list with legal pot rates so much lower than NZ in usage.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/13/marijuana-crime-denver_n_5319298.html

    Four months after recreational marijuana sales were legalized in Denver, crime still hasn’t gone up, according to the city’s latest data.

    Overall violent crime in Denver for the four-month period that includes January to April fell 5.6 percent from the same period a year earlier. Crime is down in the four main categories of violent crime — homicide, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault. Property crime dropped 11.4 percent from the first four months of 2013.

    The crime data stands in stark contrast to statements made by law enforcers in 2012, before Amendment 64 legalized marijuana in Colorado for recreational sale and use. Multiple members of the state’s law enforcement community warned legalization would bring bleak and “harmful” consequences. “Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana and pot for sale everywhere,” Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver said in a 2012 statement . “I think our entire state will pay the price.”

    Naturally, correlation does not imply causation with this crime data. And with only four months of legal sales on the books and only about half of all the states’ dispensaries licensed to sell, it may be too early to identify trends. But evidence of a crime wave simply has not materialized since legal pot sales began Jan. 1.

    What has soared is revenue from legal marijuana sales. Marijuana shops brought in nearly $19 million collectively in March, up nearly one-third from about $14 million in February. Pot shops raked in $14 million during the first month of sales.

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  30. JMS (313 comments) says:

    You moron. Go out rape steal and kill then.

    that’s even dumber than iMP’s earlier comment which up until now was the dumbest comment of the day.

    I could try and explain basic logic to you, but then people would rightfully start laughing at me.

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  31. Redbaiter (7,962 comments) says:

    Wow, there’s someone who on so many occasions identified himself as a cowardly deceitful amoral liar & Progressive, and on top of that he’s posting stuff from that paragon of Prog virtue the Huffington Post. Funny how I find the motivation to argue with him completely lacking.

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  32. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “……What is it with Reddy’s adoration for Singapore? Unusual, to say the least…..”

    Your type don’t figure in Singapore. But then that’s why we are stuck with you – as Key and his prog mates feed you your public adoration fix – which keeps you ‘happy’ – but it’s really so as to keep your perverted ways in check.

    In Singapore your kind tend to grow out of their adolescent mindset – due to the willingness of the Singaporians to ignore you and not feed you with applause.

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  33. altiora (216 comments) says:

    No Redbaiter, you’re entirely naive. As someone has already mentioned, Singapore is a one-party state and, as such states are inclined to do, they doctor statistics to improve their image. This is after all the place where the government silences dissent by way of “seditious libel” actions.

    You need to try to convince people to your cause, and stop attacking the very people who’re keeping us from the disaster of a Labour/Greens/Mana/NZ First government. Rather you’ve become an increasingly shrill hysterical voice, who will doubtlessly soon be advocating coup d’etat Thai style in order to bring about the state you want.

    There is little difference in spirit between you and Bradbury and other extreme leftists — you all think democracy is only legitimate if it results in the implementing of the policies you support. If not, it’s rotten and needs to be dispensed with.

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  34. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    What is ‘your type’ Harriet?

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  35. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “….What is ‘your type’ Harriet?…”

    Natural order behaviour.

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  36. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Not ‘my type’?

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  37. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    Funny how reddy ignores the fact that alcohol is directly reasonable for half of all crime yet pot only plays a role because it is illegal.
    Did the commies make us drink piss as well redtarded one? Do you support hanging for alcohol usage? Or are you a one eyed pissdrinkin wowser who ignores his own drugs problems yet wants to stop others enjoyments in life without facts to back your stance.

    Alcohol is involved
    60 per cent of all incidents reported to the Police
    41 per cent of all fatal motor accidents
    77 per cent of street disorder and fighting offences
    40 per cent of serious assaults

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  38. Redbaiter (7,962 comments) says:

    Tell you what to all the useful idiots who think legalising drugs is what NZ needs so badly to do, I’ll make a deal with you.

    Lets get rid of govt that takes $80 billion dollars out of our pockets annually.

    Lets stop govt spending billions we don’t have supporting a derelict welfare state.

    Let’s stop destroying our traditional culture and replacing it with an uncivil minefield of crime and violence.

    Lets wipe 75% of our laws from the statute books.

    Lets reduce the size of our parliament by at least 60%.

    Let’s restore the civil society that existed before Marxists and Progressives became socially ascendant.

    Lets reduce taxes and bureaucracy to one tenth of what they are now.

    If after we’ve done all that, and you’re still sweating on drug legalisation, then I won’t stand in your pissant way.

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  39. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Oh griff that’s an easy one. Reddy will tell us that alcohol is an integral part of our western cultural heritage, while other substances are part of an insidious Marxist plot to undermine society.

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  40. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Now now, Reddy, either you are for drug liberalisation or you are against it. you can’t say that you are for it, but only if a whole lot of other political conditions are first met. That’s just silly and illogical, even by your standards.

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  41. altiora (216 comments) says:

    Yep that’s right Redbaiter, legalise pot and all New Zealanders will take to getting stoned 24/7 and will engage in all sorts of criminal offending. We can’t be trusted, we need your firm iron fist to guide us.

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  42. kowtow (7,895 comments) says:

    You dicks can’t stay on topic.

    Always referring to alcohol.

    That’s not the issue here.

    It’s so called legal highs ,which we can well do without.

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  43. Redbaiter (7,962 comments) says:

    Milky your wittering attempts at argument are just painful and constant reminders that like most Progs, you lack the information and intelligence needed to add anything substantial to the debate.

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  44. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Reddy can’t make an argument, let alone answer one. I’m curious Reddy. What year level are you at in high school? Or have you just dropped out?

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  45. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    kowtow
    Considering legal highs inevitably leads to considering regulatory regimes for similar substances. Or would consistency of approach be a bad thing? Cultural Marxism perhaps?

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  46. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “……Singapore is a one-party state and, as such states are inclined to do, they doctor statistics to improve their image…..”

    Fucken rubbish!

    Singapore has never had to say that it kills more drug traffickers than it actually does – for Singapore to keep drug use down. Red has not suggested that ‘all things Singaporean’ should be introduced to NZ – but rather just somethings.

    “……There is little difference in spirit between you and Bradbury and other extreme leftists — you all think democracy is only legitimate if it results in the implementing of the policies you support. If not, it’s rotten and needs to be dispensed with….”

    Hardly – democracy in NZ is undermined by Private Members Bills.

    People in NZ get fucked over before they even vote. Euthanasia is a case in point – it will proceed to parliment under a pm Bill and NOT as a policy in a democratic election. National, Labour et el will then see that it is passed. Whore fucking and ‘I’M gHEY marriage’ were treated in the same manor.

    The sooner the pm Bills system itself becomes an election issue and is voted out, the sooner NZ is restored to being democratic.

    Until then NZ is stuck with an elitist agenda.

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  47. Redbaiter (7,962 comments) says:

    These losers who see drug legalisiation as some kind of litmus test of commitment to liberty are so shallow.

    Mostly they come from a sector of society that has cheered or remained blissfully ignorant while the left have busily carried on with the gradual destruction of so many of our traditional freedoms.

    Narcissists and uneducated philistines, as stupid as the summer day is long.

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  48. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    :lol: I so love redtard stupidity it has to be a parody freedom by restrictive laws
    Your standpoint if it was honestly held would be for the government to butt out of the affairs of a person unless they harm others
    Instead you are trying to ban behaviors by adding more restrictive laws and repressions.

    Authoritarian is not “right wing” and neither is a conservative fear of change its the refuge of the bewildered and frightened who seek control from government out of their own fears.

    Your ideal government if in power would be sticking more of its laws into my private life not less.

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  49. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    That’s a bit off topic Harriet, but I fail to see how democracy is undermined by private members’ bills. If anything, they enhance democracy by providing an opportunity to surface issues that possibly would never make it through the party machines.

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  50. altiora (216 comments) says:

    Calm down Harriet. Vent all that repressed frustration by banging your tambourine in whatever “emerging church” you attend.

    You’re very unusual: a woman who seems to be attracted to Redbaiter’s rantings. Are you two one and the same. Is Redbaiter doing a Norman Bates on the rocking chair?

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  51. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    altiora is showing great promise as a Kiwiblogger.

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  52. unaha-closp (1,137 comments) says:

    No, people who push for drug legalisation are the true Marxists.

    Here are some states that enacted heavy penalties on drug use, with varying degrees of success:

    North Korea
    East Germany
    USSR
    Vietnam

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  53. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    Kow tow
    try to think katie

    It’s so called legal highs

    Alcohol is a legal high !!!
    It is the benchmark for legal highs at present as it is the most visible one of the few legally sold highs in nz
    Kava is also legal but no one gets stinking on kava and commits crime.

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  54. mandk (872 comments) says:

    JMS: “The biggest contributor to excessive drug use in NZ is the welfare state”

    Absolutely. And that is also why it is disturbing to think that we might follow the example of Washington and Colorado.
    In the USA they don’t fund young people to become drop kicks, like we do.

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  55. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    And yet on almost every measure of social cohesion and success New Zealand ranks higher than the United States…

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  56. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    altiora
    Harry it is a man
    For some reason he uses a woman’s name whilst being a homophobic ranter.
    Siggy would have had a field day with him/ her/ it

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  57. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “…….[redbaiter] You need to try to convince people to your cause, and stop attacking the very people who’re keeping us from the disaster of a Labour/Greens/Mana/NZ First government. Rather you’ve become an increasingly shrill hysterical voice, who will doubtlessly soon be advocating coup d’etat Thai style in order to bring about the state you want….”

    National is not keeping us from the disaster that is lab/gre/mana – as they have hardly reduced the 47% increase in the public service that the Labour LEAD left gave NZ.

    National need Big Government, Big Porn, Big Academia ect to keep control over an ever expanding stupid class of unthinking and irresponsable idiots. Marxism always ends up doing that.

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  58. altiora (216 comments) says:

    Help she’s still on my tail. God help us if Harriet is truly a bloke who’s using this site to express and explore his/her/its feminine side. Begs the question what’s the masculine side like? Has it ever been evidenced?

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  59. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    A Previous nom de plume for the repressed one was Sargent major……

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  60. unaha-closp (1,137 comments) says:

    Absolutely. And that is also why it is disturbing to think that we might follow the example of Washington and Colorado.

    Does the price go down if you legalise?

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  61. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “……Help she’s still on my tail. God help us if Harriet is truly a bloke who’s using this site to express and explore his/her/its feminine side. Begs the question what’s the masculine side like? Has it ever been evidenced?….”

    One minute you don’t want me looking at your tail – and your very next questions are if I’d be masculine enough to grab it?

    It’d be nothing new if I did as the wife used to be a model.

    I bet it would be VASTLY different for me though! :cool:

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  62. gump (1,541 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter

    You’re playing the Singapore is “family friendly” card again.

    As I pointed out last time you did this, Singapore has the lowest fertility rate in the entire world. You seem unable or unwilling to grasp the fact that nobody wants to raise children there.

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  63. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Reddy is unable AND unwilling.

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  64. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    Some one once debated with redbaiter
    and the world is a flat disc supported be four elephants standing on the back of a large turtle.

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  65. nasska (10,865 comments) says:

    You’re not looking at it from Baity’s point of view….as a conservative he just ‘knows’ deep within his pancreas what would be good for us & by God…..one day he’ll make sure we’ll do it.

    Clarkula was similarly deluded.

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  66. ross411 (289 comments) says:

    What harm does doing marijuana do? Why was it made illegal in New Zealand? Two things I still have no idea about.

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  67. Unity (392 comments) says:

    I understand research has proven that if taken before the brain is properly wired (which is early 20′s), it causes mental problems and is all too often behind youth suicides and other psychotic behaviour. You can almost bet that if you look at all youth suicides marijuana is in the mix somewhere. It stays in the blood for much longer than alchohol and does far more damage than the latter. However, binge drinking in the young is also causing mental health problems but nothing like marijuana. You get far more youth suicides these days than many years ago. Ever wondered why? I know there are so many expectations these days but there are far more dangerous temptations too.

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  68. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    It can cause long term effects in those under 18 who smoke the New Zealand birth cohort.study has found a drop in IQ of 8points for long term users who start before 18 and no difference for those who start after 18
    Unfortunately due to prohibition its sellers are not regulated so it is easier for children to get than alcohol.

    A team of researchers from New Zealand, the UK and the US analysed data from over 1,000 individuals enrolled in the Dunedin Cohort study and found that individuals who started using cannabis in adolescence and used it for years afterwards showed an average decline in IQ of 8 points when their age 13 and age 38 IQ tests were compared. Cannabis users who started in adulthood (> 18 years) did not appear to experience the same IQ decline as a result of persistent cannabis use.

    The law is measurably an arse

    By the age of 21, over two thirds of the cohort had used cannabis on at least one occasion with 5% using cannabis on more than 400 occasions. Amongst cannabis users, 5.1% had been arrested for a cannabis related offence and 3.6% had been convicted of an offence. There was a strong association between the extent of cannabis use and risks of arrest/conviction: over a quarter of those using cannabis on more than 400 occasions had been arrested or convicted for a cannabis related offence compared with less than 1% of those using cannabis on fewer than ten occasions. Māori, those with a previous arrest record for non cannabis related offences and those reporting involvement in violent/property offending were more likely to be arrested or convicted than other cohort members having the same level of cannabis use; in addition, males were more likely to be convicted than females with the same level of cannabis use. Arrest/conviction for a cannabis related offence did not reduce the use of cannabis: of those arrested/convicted, 95% either increased their use or continued with the same level of cannabis use subsequent to their arrest.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    The results of this study reinforce concerns about laws relating to the use and possession of cannabis. The findings show that the law was administered in an inefficient way, the application of the law was biased, and the law was ineffective in reducing cannabis use.

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  69. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    same study above
    alcohol

    it is clear
    from these results that, irrespective of the sources of theassociation between alcohol misuse andadolescent problem behaviours, young people13who use alcohol frequently, heavily or report alcoholrelated problems are at an increased
    risk of a wide range of adolescent problem behaviours including substance use, sexualactivity, police contact and depression.

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  70. ChardonnayGuy (1,179 comments) says:

    I certainly think that there’s a case for decriminalisation of cannabis, but I’m somewhat uneasy when the same argument is applied to P/crystal meth. As for formerly legal highs, am I the only one who wonders if some of the users who reported adverse reactions were actually polydrug users and experienced adverse reaction to drug interactions that wouldn’t have been the case with the aforementioned substances on their own? I think there should have been a more rigorous testing regime before the Psychoactive Substances Act was introduced.

    Insofar as Class A and Class C drugs go, each category has vastly different pharmacological and toxicological properties, so I think the best way to go is probably streamlining the Misuse of Drugs Act and abolishing the Class C category altogether, albeit with an R18 age limit. Some Class B substances may be best governed by harm minimisation and risk reduction. Reserve the interdiction and hardline prohibitionist policies for Class A drugs, where they might be justifiable. Methamphetamine psychosis does exist, and it is far more severe than the limited effects of similar adverse reactions to cannabis amongst particularly susceptible individuals.

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  71. CharlieBrown (921 comments) says:

    The war on drugs is ethically bankrupt.

    Its my body, if I don’t hurt myself or others when taking drugs then why ban it. NB, I don’t take drugs apart from alcohol. To drink a chardonnay in one hand whilst writing a law to ban other drugs with the other is just retarded.

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  72. goldnkiwi (1,145 comments) says:

    Why do we(the State) want to potentially criminalise so many of our citizens for use of a substance (argument confined to marijuana)?

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