Archive for the ‘Drugs’ category

Drugs don’t work

February 27, 2008

Message to all drunks and stoners (and most users of antidepressants): Drugs don’t work.

This to me is no surprise. using drugs to escape problems can work temporarily, while you are still on your “high”, but once the effects of the drug on your mind (but not on your health) wear of, the problems remain. Not to mention you can get into more problems while on alcohol or drugs, such as embarrasment, crinimal charges, damage to property, and if female an unwanted pregnancy. Not nice.

A new study in the UK shows that antidepressants only worked in a small minority of cases, usually in the most depressed people. This comes as no surprise to me. Usually when people get depressed theres a reason (say a marriage breakup, unexpected hardship, loved one or friend dying e.t.c). Drugs may make someone feel better in the short term, but don’t address the original cause of the problem. Thus, like alcohol or other drugs, don’t work.

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Why Cannabis should stay illegal

August 6, 2007

Today’s Dominion Post health section has a good article by Chris Kalderimis entitled “Cannabis linked with psychosis and lung damage” (A9) about the health effects of cannabis. It may come as a big surprise to those libertarians and dope-smokers that the effects aren’t good. This is something that Metiria Turei (a Green MP) should look at carefully, as she has a Bill which has recently been pulled out of the ballot to legalise “medicinal cannabis“.

Lets take a look at the health effects of cannabis. First, according to a recent Lancent study, marijuana use can increase the risk of developing a psychotic illness by 40%, and the risk of developing schizophrenia by 100%. And for dope-smokers that’s the not so bad news, as Kalderimis points out that the risk of getting a psychotic illness or schizophrenia is only 1%, so cannabis increases the risk to 1.4% and 2% respectively. Here is the really bad news. According to a very recent medical Research Institute smoking one cannabis joint does the same amount of damage to your lungs as five tobacco cigarettes. To be fair to the dope-smokers one study isn’t definate proof, but it should be seriously looked at. From this one can conclude that a doctor would need to smoke a awfull lot of drugs before prescribing cannabis for his/her patients for health reasons.

Some advocates of legal  ‘soft drugs’ (like party pills and cannabis) argue that banning them could cause people to switch to ‘hard drugs’ (like ‘P’), which do more harm. People who make this arguement should look at the article “When the party’s over” on page B6 in the Dominion Post on August 1 (reproduced here). It details research by Victoria University student kate Bryson into the effects of banning party pills, and found that three quarters of party pill users are already using illegal drugs (so much for the if party pills are banned people will switch to illegal drugs arguement) and that 86% said they would not try ‘P’ if party pills were banned (proving the banning party pills will make people switch to ‘P’ or other harder drugs arguement wrong). What is needed is not to legalise drugs, which would send the implicit message that it is OK to use them), but tell young people that drug use is wrong and will not be tolerated by society. And we need to put pressure on politicians to make sure it isn’t tolerated and the police better enforce the laws against cannabis.

Party Pills banned

July 3, 2007

I know this is old news now, but the government is going to ban BZP (benzylpiperazine) and other “party pills“.

This descison has been criticised by many blogs. the reasons for this critism is that prohibition doesn’t work and may encourage people to use harder drugs. Also are that BZP doesn’t do much harm and that it involves the government nany state stepping too far into peoples lives. Those who oppose the BZP ban on the “its my body I can do with I want with it” kind of arguement, hold the libertarian view about the governments job being to stay out of peoples lives, and use of drugs for personal use are what they call “victimless crime“. I do not share this political philosophy, and by its logical conclusion it will end up legalizing not only BZP, but also “P” as well. Also, the use of drugs for personal use are hardly “victimless” for those who assualted or raped by people wh are under the influence of drugs. This is not to mention the harm that BZP can do to the user, and BZP is not harmless or safe. It can cause, according to Dr Paul Gee, an emergency doctor at Christchurch Hospital, life threatning seizures, psychiatric illnesses, or even death. As for the idea that prohibition doesn’t work, although true that prohibition doesn’t work perfectly in that there will always be a black market, it can work beter than legalisation, and the prohibition doesn’t work arguement, if taken to its logical conclusion, would mean legalised “P” for 12 year olds. What is needed to stop use of illegal drugs is not legalisation, but better enforcement of the existing law, such as in areas with large drug use problems, random drug tests on people, with harsh punishments for those found to be using drugs. There are also fears that banning BZP would cause its current users to switch to illegal harder drugs, but there is research showing BZP can be a gateway drug to the use of harder drugs. These reasons, together with the arguement that the use of mind-altering drugs for recreational use is morally wrong, present a good case for prohibition.

However, the fears by opponents of the ban that it will give more money to gangs, and create a illegal black market, with more dangerous BZP, and make people switch to harder drugs arer real. If I were an MP I would vote for a Bill to ban BZP at the first reading but not guarentee to support such a Bill any further.