The NZ Drug Harm Index Study & Prohibition Mentality

Sempai Cannabis, Drugs, News, Psychoactive Substances

The stated goal of the New Zealand Drug Harm Index study, released in April, was “to measure the impact of government intervention”. I really think they failed to do that at all, but let’s first have a look at how these studies work. A drug harm index study collates ‘social and personal harms’ using somewhat subjective criteria for calculating costs. You end up having complex calculations projecting populations onto estimates. It can be hard to pull apart because they use other studies data (which in this case I don’t have access to). You’ll see in a minute though why such studies are sort of making things up as they go along. So the first thing that is wrong minded in this study is the assumption that ‘interventions’ are in fact lowering harms associated with the drug. This is particularly ironic, given the inclusion of ‘lost taxes’ and related crime, as considered costs associated with the drug, not consequences of prohibition. When one factors in ‘loss of profit and taxes’ as a cost associated with prohibition, as well as reduction in …

Legal Highs to be banned immediately in New Zealand

Neo Legal Highs, News, Psychoactive Substances

All legal highs including synthetic cannabis are to be removed and banned from shelves in the next two weeks according to Legal Highs NZ – Peter Dunne made the announcement last minute because Labour Leader David Cunliffe had planned to make an announcement in the following 24 hours that Labour were going to introduce their own policy to remove legal highs from shelves. Many experts are concerned that this will simply drive users to seek the substances from organized crime syndicates. It is possible for users to purchase the pure cannabinoid ingredients online and manufacturer their own synthetic cannabis or simply use the pure chemicals without “watering it down” on a leaf base. There are concerns that addicts will turn to using these pure chemicals in glass pipes similar to the way methamphetamine addicts smoke pure crystal. Ross Bell from the NZ Drug Foundation told media last week that customs are going to have a very hard time stopping drug users from buying synthetic cannabinoids online as the amount needed for up to 500 doses was less than a 1/4 …

Exploring therapeutic effects of MDMA on post-traumatic stress

Neo Drugs, News

It costs about $2,000 to buy an ounce of the illegal drug, the therapist said — enough for roughly 150 doses. She pays her longtime dealer in cash; he gives her a Ziploc bag of white powder. Back home, she scoops the contents into clear capsules. She calls it “the medicine”; others know it as MDMA, the active ingredient in the party drug Ecstasy. MDMA has been banned by the federal government since 1985 as a dangerous recreational drug with no medical value. But interest is rising in its potential to help people suffering from psychiatric or emotional problems. A loose-knit underground community of psychologists, counselors and healers has been administering the drug to patients — an act that could cost them their careers. “I do what is morally right,” said the therapist, who lives in Northern California and did not want to be identified. “If I have the tools to help, it is my responsibility to help.” A series of clinical trials approved by federal drug authorities is now underway to see if the drug’s ability to strip away …

New Study: Stoners Are Well Educated and Make a Lot of Money

Neo Cannabis, News

Contrary to the typical stoner stereotype, a recent study shows that the majority of die-hard smokers are well-educated individuals with careers that earn well above-average salaries. According to the Department of Public Health and Social Services Guam Community Health Assessment, nearly 25% of adults who consider themselves habitual marijuana smokers have graduated from college, while 19% have reportedly dropped out of high school and do not hold a diploma or equivalency. Read more http://www.hightimes.com/read/new-study-stoners-are-well-educated-and-make-lot-money

NZ drug laws ‘step towards legalising cannabis’

Neo Cannabis, News

New Zealand’s “breakthrough” synthetic drug law could be a step towards the country legalising cannabis, a US drug reformer says. Drug Policy Alliance executive director Ethan Nadelmann, who has been described as America’s leading marijuana legalisation campaigner, will discuss cannabis law reform and the regulation of legal highs in Auckland this week. He is the keynote speaker at the Pathway to Reform conference on Thursday, which is being hosted by synthetic drug industry group the Star Trust. Dr Nadelmann said New Zealand’s synthetic drug law, the Psychoactive Substances Act, was a global “breakthrough” in drug legislation. Read more http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/295413/nz-drug-laws-step-towards-legalising-cannabis