Prohibition wins

May 5th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Prime Minister John Key has ruled out any animal testing on legal high products.

Parliament will pass legislation this week to pull all legal high products from shop shelves until they can be proved to be safe.

Mr Key had previously ruled out recreational drug testing on all animals except rats, he told Newstalk ZB.

“The advice I’ve had from the Health Department over the weekend, and having had discussions with Peter Dunne, is that they don’t believe that that’s safe.

“They say it has to be on two species, not one, so what I’ve said is, ‘Okay, well if that’s what you believe, then it’s all out’.” 

Mr Key said if the product could not be tested other than with animals, then it failed to meet the testing regime and would not be produced.

Mr Key told TVNZ’s Breakfast show the Health Department had told him and Mr Dunne that to ensure a product was safe, it needed to be tested on rats and rabbits.

So previously legal recreational will be effectively banned because rabbits are cute and rats are not.

This means that all these products will not effectively be permanently banned, because they will have no way of proving they are safe. This will help the black market, but prohibition is rarely successful or desirable.

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65 Responses to “Prohibition wins”

  1. CharlieBrown (889 comments) says:

    I wonder if our descendants will look back at today with the same view that we look back at prohibition in the US in the early 20th century? Such a backward move by the government, giving in to unfounded hysteria. But I suppose National are whores to the polls.

    The press in this country are so irresponsible and unbalanced. There were very few positive stories about safe legal highs, with only focus put on the addicts taking them against directions. If only Dunne the idiot didn’t ban BZP which was definitely safe in moderation and not addictive.

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  2. mjw (209 comments) says:

    I think this is the right decision. Animal cruelty may be justified for medical benefits, but for recreational purposes? Seems unethical really. Congratulations to Labour for proposing this policy, and congratulations to National for seeing the common sense in it and adopting it. (And while there is no rationale for preferring rabbits to rats, at least this is a step in the right direction.)

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  3. Peter (1,578 comments) says:

    Gangs status: happy

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  4. Elaycee (4,299 comments) says:

    If the purveyors of these ‘synthetic highs’ are so sure they’re OK, then let them be the subject of the testing themselves.

    Sorted.

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  5. gump (1,474 comments) says:

    @mjw

    “Animal cruelty may be justified for medical benefits, but for recreational purposes? ”

    ——————–

    Hunting is often cruel and it is mainly done for recreational purposes.

    I think that animal cruelty is just being used as a smokescreen to avoid having to address the real issue. It’s good politics but bad policy.

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  6. Nostalgia-NZ (4,900 comments) says:

    Non testing on Laboratory animals in another time would have been a ‘green’ policy.

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  7. backster (2,076 comments) says:

    “Non testing on Laboratory animals in another time would have been a ‘green’ policy”

    But only because they believe in drug legalisation.

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  8. Colville (2,068 comments) says:

    Hunting is often cruel and it is mainly done for recreation.

    You mean other than the thousands of people hunting feeds every day here in lil ole NZ ?

    Fuckwit.

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  9. David Garrett (6,344 comments) says:

    mjw: National have not “seen the common sense in it” you fool…they have polled the issue and discovered that most of the sheeple dont want drugs test on any furry little animals, even if they are rats…God help us.

    As someone else has said, a victory for the gangs…another product for the tinny house…

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  10. mjw (209 comments) says:

    gump. I’m okay with hunting. Good hunters try to minimise cruelty, the meat gets eaten, and those animals being hunted are often pests. It is also a very long established human practice.

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  11. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (785 comments) says:

    Another dead rat swallowed and another hot topic during campaign for Labour taken away. Well done rat eater John Key. Now if you can somehow tell aunty Collins to zip up tight, sit quiet, we can watch Labour starting to self destruct out of frustration. Aunty should listen to Paula Welfare Bennet’s advice – “Zip it sweetie”.

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  12. metcalph (1,359 comments) says:

    Animal cruelty may be justified for medical benefits, but for recreational purposes?

    Ascertaining whether a legal high is carcinogenic is a legitimate use of animal testing for medical purposes. Virtually every chemical that comes into contact with humans has been tested on small cute furry animals. By creating an exception for legal highs, you are allowing potentially dangerous chemicals to be unleashed on synthetic dopes.

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  13. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    Hunting is often cruel and it is mainly done for recreational purposes.

    There is a difference between a quick death and forcing hallucinogenic drugs on some poor, uncomprehending animal who does not understand what is going on and gets terrified out of its mind.

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  14. Jack5 (4,571 comments) says:

    Now here’s the inside reason for all this:

    The inside story is that Peter Dunne found out that testing would likely be done on possums!

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  15. georgebolwing (602 comments) says:

    The cute bunnies angle is a very clever way for the PM to derail one of the few attempts internationally to bring at least some rationality to drug policy.

    While still focussed on harm, rather than liberty, that policy did allow the possability that some drugs, currently banned because of middle-class fear, would have been legal. This was, I suspect, seen as a step to far for the conservatives. Much better to keep with the well-worn “all drugs bad” approach that has been so sucessful to date.

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  16. Peter (1,578 comments) says:

    More damaging prohibition from the idiocracy, aided and abetted by the irresponsible media. It’s a wonder alcohol was ever made legal.

    Now the “testing” will be done by gangs. “Woa! Demand is spiking again! If we price P at $20, do we make more than if we price it at $25?”. Nice one, Nu Zulland. Yah sure ar smartz.

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  17. Puzzled in Ekatahuna (338 comments) says:

    How was testing legal highs on animals ever going to work –
    how much vodka do you give to a lab bunny at the same time as the high, to be realistic?

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  18. OTGO (510 comments) says:

    I favour drug testing on criminals in prison serving sentences exceeding 5 years in duration. Leave the animals alone.

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  19. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    I favour drug testing on criminals in prison serving sentences exceeding 5 years in duration. Leave the animals alone.

    Are you *serious*? I am aghast. Your proposition is more suited to the Soviet Union than a democracy.

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  20. Judith (7,509 comments) says:

    Good move for Key. I’m pleased to see he has the balls and the integrity to stand up for those that cannot speak for themselves, even if they are just ‘animals’. I accept the testing on some animals in controlled circumstances when it is for medical reasons, (I don’t like it, but accept it as inevitable) but for vanity or worse, addiction/entertainment – no way!

    10 points of Kudos John!

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  21. Jack5 (4,571 comments) says:

    The synthetics narco’s will now be branded as criminals, with international ramifications for them.

    If meths makers are criminals, why shouldn’t these guys be, too?

    As for the theme song that prohibition never works, look at Singapore.

    However, the reason for the action is wrong. The refusal to use animal testing raises questions about medicinal drugs. The loon who leads animal rightists doesn’t want us to even have pets, and the question is would he rather see humans suffer because they can’t be tested on animals?

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  22. OTGO (510 comments) says:

    Aredhel – I am serious. They cost the country a lot of money to imprison them. This would be their way of giving back.

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  23. SPC (5,355 comments) says:

    Jack 5 surveys show Singapore to be the unhappiest place on earth.

    MDMA and BZP would be two drugs that would pass testing, and research of former users could be undertaken instead of any trial.

    One wonders if their illegality is a protection of an established cultural norm, abuse of alcohol, so that a new generation was broken into conformity.

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  24. RRM (9,434 comments) says:

    So previously legal recreational drugs will be effectively banned because rabbits are cute and rats are not.

    Good.

    Don’t torture defenseless animals so that druggies can get a few kicks in their otherwise pointless, wasted lives.

    Druggies can just fuck right off.

    People who want to sell drugs to druggies can just fuck right off.

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  25. Than (425 comments) says:

    SPC, agreed, either research on former NZ users or data from overseas (whether animal testing or user experience) would be two ways manufacturers could demonstrate their product is safe. Unfortunately I don’t think that would make any difference.

    Imagine hypothetically that one of these products was proven medically safe. Does anybody believe that would convince the terrified parents watching Campbell Live and imagining their children as one of the losers hanging around outside the stores?

    This was a moral panic, reason and evidence don’t enter into it. And it’s sad that this is dictating policy.

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  26. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    sorry, but even though I like key he is a pussy. Time we had a real man in charge instead of a metro sexual poll driven soft cock.
    Time for a Farmers and Hunters Party.

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  27. Jack5 (4,571 comments) says:

    SPC posted at 12.08:

    …surveys show Singapore to be the unhappiest place on earth…

    Crap! Afghanistan, Somalia, Ukraine, Greece, perhaps Spain, probably even Fiji…. scores of countries would rank as unhappier.

    If you had visited Singapore before its economic and political reforms, SPC, you would have seen: open sewers in suburbs, utter poverty abounding.

    Now it’s a sparkling, wealthy city, with extensive welfare for its citizens.

    Singapore GDP per head in 2013: US$62,400.

    NZ GDP per head (estimate) 2013: US$30,400.

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  28. SPC (5,355 comments) says:

    Perhaps money can’t buy happiness. A recent Gallup report shows that Singapore’s wealthy population is the unhappiest — less happy than the populations of Iraq, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Syria.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/21/world/asia/singapore-least-happy/

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  29. MT_Tinman (2,985 comments) says:

    Rabbits, possums and left-wing voters are the biggest problem pests in New Zealand.

    Why rule out testing on any of them?

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  30. Ross12 (1,147 comments) says:

    So does this mean just the testing is now illegal in NZ ? What happens if they go to Aussie for example and have it tested there and shows the product to OK –are the results accepted ? ( I’m assuming the testing on animals is OK in Aussie but if it isn’t there would be other places where it would OK , so the question still applies)

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  31. Aredhel777 (278 comments) says:

    Aredhel – I am serious. They cost the country a lot of money to imprison them. This would be their way of giving back.

    You and your ilk are fascists.

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  32. SPC (5,355 comments) says:

    Jack 5, Singapore welfare is a myth.

    “The wealth gap is the second-widest among advanced economies in Asia, next to Hong Kong. … There is no minimum wage or poverty line set and no welfare provision along the lines of many developed Western economies.

    It has become such a problem that anti-poverty campaigners are now posing a challenge – can you make ends meet on S$5 dollars a day? According to the campaigners, S$5 a day is what nearly 400,000 Singaporeans are left with after paying for utilities, school, rent, loan instalments and healthcare.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26349689

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  33. Elaycee (4,299 comments) says:

    …surveys show Singapore to be the unhappiest place on earth.

    Whaaat? Have you actually been there?

    Nah.. thought not. :roll:

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  34. SPC (5,355 comments) says:

    Elaycee, they surveyed those who live there. And it was not the only survey that showed this same result.

    Are people so blinded by greed for more money, that they think a high per capita GDP must mean people are happy?

    Jack5 seemed to think that the survey result could not be true because they had increased their GDP per capita by so much in a few decades. He was wrong.

    Singapore is evidence that disproves this fallacy.

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  35. Drone (9 comments) says:

    Yet another example of the “Nanny State” being administered by a “past his use by date” politician. When can we look forward to all those other freedoms we currently experience being removed like …

    Smoking – removed from shops and advertising and the scenes cut from TV and movies where it happens.
    Alcohol – probably more dangerous in many ways than some recreational drugs..
    Lotto – think of all that money that could be used to reduce the national debt if only the government could only get its hands on it, but wait it does…

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  36. mikenmild (10,630 comments) says:

    I am presuming human trials would be accepted as adequate evidence of safety. But would such trials be ethically acceptable in NZ?

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  37. CharlieBrown (889 comments) says:

    Will the government look to allow some of the C class drugs to undergo scientific testing for safety? Or will they be fucking hypocrites that believe alcohol is ok but anything else isn’t, regardless of the science.

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  38. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Good.

    Don’t torture defenseless animals so that druggies can get a few kicks in their otherwise pointless, wasted lives.

    Druggies can just fuck right off.

    People who want to sell drugs to druggies can just fuck right off.

    RRM, say what you really think, don’t hold back ;)

    I pretty much agree. Though I would legalise Pot. I doubt they would lose votes, on balance, and it would appeal to liberal younger voters. Everyone who wants to smoke the shit already is.

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  39. Nukuleka (201 comments) says:

    As a dog owner and general animal lover I am delighted to see that so many people oppose cruelty to animals- including RATS. What a pity that so many of these same people have absolutely no compassion or concern for the everyday cruelty that is shown to the human beings who are aborted in New Zealand using public money. What a hypocritical society we live in.

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  40. Jack5 (4,571 comments) says:

    SPC posted at 12.19:

    A recent Gallup report shows that Singapore’s wealthy population is the unhappiest — less happy than the populations of Iraq, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Syria.

    And at 12.39 he says Singapore welfare is a myth.

    SPC, that must be why all those boatloads of refugees risking death in leaky boats as they head for Australia are from Singapore and not from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iran etc.

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  41. Rick Rowling (801 comments) says:

    People read “prohibition” as “this is bad, so we’ll ban it”.

    It’s more helpful to look at how we got here:

    1) Is safety of medical drugs important enough to require extensive testing before use (even if it delays the drugs’ release and costs lives)? Yes.

    2) Is getting high so much more important than medicine that recreational drugs should be exempt from the safety standards applied to medical drugs? No.

    3) Animal testing is cruel and unpleasant. Does the benefit of medical drugs outweigh the negatives of animal testing? Yes.

    4) Does the benefit of getting high outweigh the negatives of animal testing? No.

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  42. Jack5 (4,571 comments) says:

    The BBC report SPC points to in his 12.39 post centres on a woman , who is likely to be a guest worker (that is a temporary migrant). This is the description of her in the BBC article:

    Nurhaida Binte Jantan is making dinner. She is roasting otah-otah, a Malay dish of fish paste wrapped in banana leaves, over a portable stove.

    She is a 29-year-old unemployed single mother with six children from five to 13 years old.

    There are one or two like Nurhaida in NZ, aren’t there. SPC?

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  43. Rick Rowling (801 comments) says:

    And if you’re looking at it from a political point of view, there’s no broad based support for drug users or drug dealers.

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  44. wreck1080 (3,726 comments) says:

    pathetic.

    Rats feel pain just as much as rabbits .

    One of the more despicable human traits, it is ok to hurt ugly things.

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  45. georgebolwing (602 comments) says:

    Nukuleka

    Combing views on abortion and drugs on Kiwiblog is just asking for a blast from the liberals.

    I’ll start.

    By legal definition, no abortions are performed on “human beings” in New Zealand. The embryos (most are not developed enough to be considered fetuses) are non-viable (incapable of being born alive) and do not have developed nervous systems.

    Prohibition of abortion is another failed policy. Far better for it to be safe, legal and rare.

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  46. mikenmild (10,630 comments) says:

    Rick you are making a valid argument that unfortunately has no relation to the real issue: people will continue to use and abuse psychoactive substances irrespective of the legal status of such substances.

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  47. Sb (58 comments) says:

    >4) Does the benefit of getting high outweigh the negatives of animal testing?

    Yes

    They are animals bread for the purpose in the same way as chickens are bread to produce eggs .

    How about

    4a) Does the benefit of getting boiled eggs for breakfast outweigh the negatives of animal cruelty?

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  48. mikenmild (10,630 comments) says:

    We are prepared to tolerate a significant amount of animal cruelty in food production, the cosmetics industry and no doubt many other areas. Why should recreational drugs be ruled out from animal testing?

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  49. Rick Rowling (801 comments) says:

    SB: 4a) Does the benefit of getting boiled eggs for breakfast outweigh the negatives of animal cruelty?

    Or more correctly “Does the benefit of getting really cheap boiled eggs for breakfast outweigh the negatives of animal cruelty?” Which is a good question, animal welfare vs cheap protein for the masses.

    The answers I gave weren’t mine, but were what was probably understood as general public sentiment, which is what lead to the political decision.

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  50. Rick Rowling (801 comments) says:

    We are prepared to tolerate a significant amount of animal cruelty in food production, the cosmetics industry and no doubt many other areas. Why should recreational drugs be ruled out from animal testing?

    Because as a society we value safe food, safe medicines more than animal welfare rights.

    And enough people value safe cosmetics more than animal welfare rights.

    But most people don’t value the rights of what they perceive to be ne-er-do-well druggies to get high or drug dealers’ rights to get rich more than animal welfare rights.

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  51. mikenmild (10,630 comments) says:

    Would it help if the question was cast as one of product safety? These substances will be available one way or another. Should we not do our best to ensure they are as safe as possible?

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  52. kowtow (7,591 comments) says:

    This cannot be a victory for the gangs.

    The makers of this dreadful product are good,moral ,businessmen and upstanding members of the community ,who only have the best of intentions.

    They would never think of doing anything unlawful,illegal or indeed downright immoral.

    They will simply go back to making an honest living by other means ,just like they did before they flooded New Zealand with this misery and shit.

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  53. JMS (297 comments) says:

    This cannot be a victory for the gangs.

    Yes it will be.
    People will go back to buying ‘natural’ cannabis.
    And who sells that? The gangs.

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  54. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Won’t they simply do the testing overseas ? Government interferance with markets seldom works.

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  55. mikenmild (10,630 comments) says:

    Public sentiment could compel the government to make it illegal to base product safety on animal testing, regardless of where the testing occurs.

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  56. kowtow (7,591 comments) says:

    JMS

    You’re saying no one’s bought cannabis cos this shit is legally available? Pull the other one.

    By the way ,if the gangs were losing “business” to so called legal highs ,there’d have been a lot of dairy owners ,pill shop owners etc hobbling around with busted knee caps…….

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  57. Sb (58 comments) says:

    >But most people don’t value the rights of what they perceive to be ne-er-do-well druggies to get high

    Don’t you mean “But most people don’t value the rights of what they perceive to be ne-er-do-well druggies to get high in a safe manner?

    Also how can you tell this to be true?

    I believe most people would say – test test test make it safe – tax it – regulate it and keep it out of the hands of gangs/crooks

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  58. JMS (297 comments) says:

    You’re saying no one’s bought cannabis cos this shit is legally available? Pull the other one.

    You reading comprehension skills are as bad as your understanding of market behavior.

    I never said people didn’t buy cannabis when legal highs are/were available.

    But if legal highs are no longer available then those who bought them will substitute with cannabis.
    So MORE Cannabis will be sold when legal highs become illegal.

    Please tell me that isn’t too confusing for you.

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  59. Peter (1,578 comments) says:

    It is much better that experimenting teens seek out gangs for supply, as opposed to regulated, state tested low harm alternatives.

    What’s that? Teens shouldn’t be experiment at all?

    A well considered solution. Just tell them not to! Again! I’m sure that will work this time around.

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  60. mikenmild (10,630 comments) says:

    Tell them loudly. That’ll work. Drugs bad! Alcohol good!

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  61. Longknives (4,414 comments) says:

    I’d like to hear the balanced perspective of me old mate Philu in regards to this..

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  62. mikenmild (10,630 comments) says:

    Longing for Philu, eh? You badly need some drugs.

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  63. Longknives (4,414 comments) says:

    Mikey Philu considers himself an ‘Animal Activist’ yet is staunchly ‘pro-drugs’..(He even advocated giving Cannabis to children to ‘develop their brains’ on here once..)
    I am curious which side of the fence he would sit in this instance?

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  64. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    Another appeasement to minorities by Key.

    The list grows daily.

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  65. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    ban alcohol far more harmful than plastic pot.

    Piss fills the jails and mental hospitals and is the leading cause of violence and accidents in nz

    Piss drinking sots are a bunch of hypocrites .

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