All Posts By

Bob McCoskrie

Kate Hawkesby: Legislation will never stop a black market

NewsTalk ZB 28 February 2020
Family First Comment: Exactly. ‘Legalisation’ increases the demand and use, while ‘regulation’ simply empowers the black market because drug users don’t do ‘regulation’! Never have. Never will.

The very week the government looks to legislate on vaping, guess what happens?

To serve as a reminder I guess that you can do whatever you want around legislating stuff, you’ll never control the black market. Or squash it, 12 to 13 year old school children are being approached in a busy shopping precinct in Auckland and if it’s happening in Auckland it’ll be happening in other cities too no doubt and they’re being offered ‘cheap’ vapes for sale.

Out of a woman’s bag. An Asian woman sifting the back alleys of Auckland’s Newmarket, is approaching young kids in school uniforms, and selling them vapes. I’ve heard about this from both school kids who’ve been approached, and from parents.

It’s a cash deal of course, and the seller’s got the juices too.

Some of the juices are 6 mg’s nicotine. For a kid. Whose never smoked, but is being offered a cheap vape and a juice with 6 milligrams of nicotine in it.

God knows where the vape juice or the vapes themselves are from, but kids don’t ask those kinds of questions.
They think it’s cool, they’re in a group, they’re under pressure, someone’s offering to sell them one ‘for cheap’ with no restrictions or age requirements or any questions asked.

So school kids are being direct marketed to, and they’re buying them.
READ MORE: https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/early-edition/opinion/kate-hawkesby-legislation-will-never-stop-a-black-market/

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David Seymour threatens to strip Young ACT’s name amid plan to sell drug paraphernalia

NewsHub 2 March 2020
ACT leader David Seymour is threatening to strip Young ACT of their name, as the youth wing of his political party plans to have drug paraphernalia for sale at a university event to promote their new policy.

The Young ACT policy, released on Monday, is to legalise not just cannabis but also LSD or acid, magic mushrooms, and MDMA – the main ingredient in ecstasy.

“This regulated market would allow us to better control who consumes drugs, their potency, and force producers and distributors to provide information regarding the risks and effects of the drugs in question,” Young ACT’s statement said.

“Young ACT believes that this approach also respects the individual’s right to make informed decisions about their life.”

But party leader David Seymour told Newshub the policy is not something “you’ll see anytime soon” and that legalising drugs is “not a political priority” for him.

Newshub has learned of a stunt Young ACT is planning for Tuesday to have drug paraphernalia available to be bought at their stalls at university clubs week. The youth wing will have Shosha – a store that sells vaping and smoking supplies – present at their stall.

That’s news to Seymour.
READ MORE: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/03/david-seymour-threatens-to-strip-young-act-s-name-amid-plan-to-sell-drug-paraphernalia.html

Young Act stall displays drug paraphernalia at an O-week uni stall in Wellington despite warnings from David Seymour
NZ Herald 3 March 2020
The youth wing of the Act Party has made good on its promise of displaying drug paraphernalia at its orientation week stall at Victoria University.

But Act leader David Seymour – who visited the stall earlier today – says as the students were not breaking the law and thus Act would not strip them of their Act membership.

The stunt echoes similar moves from Young Act in 2008, where members of the Youth Wing were selling party pills for $1 each if the customer signed up to Act on Campus.

This was just two weeks before they were made illegal.

Photos have emerged of Young Act’s O-week stall at the university which shows boxes of Shesha on display next to smoking devices – commonly used for consuming marijuana – and cannabis grinding devises.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12313526

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Study shows cannabis consumers are unaware of its actual effects

Yahoo News 4 February 2020
Family First Comment: “People are using cannabis and cannabinoids for everything and anything, and we don’t have enough systematic research on whether it’s effective for these conditions. People are stopping or reducing prescription drugs to use medical cannabis. It’s a serious issue. The study also highlighted a lack of awareness of the potential risks involved in the use of the drug. For example, only 22% of respondents believed that cannabis consumption during pregnancy could be risky.”

Regular smokers of cannabis have some idea of its medical properties, but a recent US study has shown that their beliefs are out of step with scientific evidence.

Do cannabis users have an accurate understanding of its risks and effectiveness? A study by American researchers who questioned 500 regular smokers of the drug indicates that many of them do not.

Participants, who were selected at the “Hash Bash,” a cannabis advocacy event held annually on the campus of the University of Michigan, were questioned on their use of cannabis, their knowledge of its medical properties, and the risks associated with its consumption.

The majority of participants reported using marijuana on a daily basis, 85% of them for medical reasons. About 78% reported that their knowledge of cannabis stemmed from personal experience, compared with only 23% who had consulted a health care provider or dispensary specializing in medical cannabis, and 18% who had been informed by a primary care provider.

Consumers lack awareness of the potential risks of cannabis
According to the study, which was published in The American Journal of Health Promotion, a majority of respondents believed that cannabis is effective in treating symptoms of cancer (76%) depression (72%) and epilepsy (68%). However, an assessment by the American National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) has concluded that there is little evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective in reducing symptoms of any of these, point out the researchers behind the study.

“People are using cannabis and cannabinoids for everything and anything, and we don’t have enough systematic research on whether it’s effective for these conditions. People are stopping or reducing prescription drugs to use medical cannabis. It’s a serious issue,” warns Daniel Kruger, the main author of the study.
READ MORE: https://news.yahoo.com/study-shows-cannabis-consumers-unaware-actual-effects-132038963.html

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FAMILY RESOURCE: Marijuana Facts Teens & Parents Need To Know

As the government pushes a soft line on drugs, including a referendum to legalise cannabis, our young people will be receiving conflicting messages about the safety of drugs, and that drug use is ‘normal’ and not that harmful.

And as parents, you may be unsure how to tackle this during the family discussions that are sure to arise at the dinner table. The pro-cannabis lobby are working hard to ensure that you are not made fully aware of just what the marijuana industry could and would do in New Zealand if they were given the welcome mat.

So we’ve found two great resources – a resource for parents, and a resource you can give to your son or daughter. They have been published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. So – way more reliable than the Drug Foundation and Helen Clark’s propaganda.

Download them for free by simply clicking on the images below.

You’ll be able to start the discussion on this important issue – armed with the facts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics covered include:
* how can I prevent my child from using marijuana?
* basic facts about the potential harms of marijuana use on the brain, body and behaviour
* how important is marijuana potency?
* tips for parents for starting the conversation

For your teen, there’s great information and discussion on addiction, driving, school, mental illness, and other important questions around the effects, whether vaping is safer, does it lead to other drugs, etc.

Download the resource today.

There’s also more educational resources, more important stories, and more great international and local experts on this issue coming from us over the next months.

Check out our official website – www.SayNopeToDope.nz

Rate of U.S. college students using marijuana at 35-year high

MarketWatch 5 September 2019
Family First Comment: Disturbing..
“ About 43% of full-time college students said they used some form of pot at least once in the past year, up from 38%, a University of Michigan survey found. About 25% said they did so in the previous month, up from 21%.”

43% said they’ve used pot in past year, as fewer see it as risky behavior

U.S. college students are using marijuana at the highest rates in 35 years, according to a report released Thursday.

About 43% of full-time college students said they used some form of pot at least once in the past year, up from 38%, a University of Michigan survey found. About 25% said they did so in the previous month, up from 21%.

The latest figures are the highest levels seen in the annual survey since 1983.

About 6% of college students said they used marijuana 20 or more times in the past month. For adults the same age who weren’t enrolled in college, the figure was 11%.

“It’s the frequent use we’re most worried about” because it’s linked to poor academic performance and can be detrimental to mental health, said John Schulenberg, one of the Michigan researchers.

College-age adults are the biggest users of marijuana than any other age group. Use among high school students has been flat for a few years.
READ MORE: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/rate-of-us-college-students-using-marijuana-at-35-year-high-2019-09-05
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Teen use of cannabis has dropped in New Zealand, but legalisation could make access easier

The Conversation 21 February 2020
Family First Comment: Cannabis use has been declining in many Western nations where cannabis use remains illegal, including New Zealand. This appears to be part of a broader shift in adolescent behaviour, not a response to policy changes.
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#VoteNO

Adult use of cannabis has risen sharply over the last few years, reflecting softening attitudes towards the drug. But our study, published today, shows cannabis use in adolescents has been decreasing since 2001.

It is important to understand what drives these trends to predict how legalisation could affect teen cannabis use.

Cannabis follows drop in teen drinking and smoking

Our research shows the proportion of 14 to 15-year-olds reporting they had ever used cannabis fell from 19% in 2012 to 14% in 2018. Those who reported using in the past month fell from 10% to 8% over the same period. The recent changes are modest, but they follow substantial declines in cannabis use among high school students between 2001 and 2012.

My earlier research showed young New Zealanders are also less likely to smoke, drink or be sexually active than their 1990s counterparts. And New Zealand isn’t the only country to observe a drop in adolescent substance use over the past two decades.

Teen smoking and alcohol use declined in almost all OECD countries, and teen cannabis use has fallen since the early 2000s in many countries, including AustraliaEnglandCanada (pre-legalisation), and several European countries.

Although US researchers have seen a marked shift in high school students’ attitudes towards cannabis, with fewer teens thinking of it as a harmful drug, they have found no rise in cannabis use.

Separate studies reached the same conclusion that lower cannabis use is linked to falling rates of drinking and smoking among teens.

European research helps to explain the US findings. According to a Norwegian study young people expressed greater willingness to try cannabis in recent years but had fewer opportunities to do so. This seems to be because young people are spending less face to face time with their friends in the evenings – the situation when cannabis use typically occurs.

Another explanation for lower cannabis use in 14 to 15 year olds is that people are starting older than in the past. Research shows the average age when young people first try smoking, drinking and cannabis has gone up in recent years in New ZealandAustralia and the US. Closer supervision by parents and [changing attitudes to smoking and drinking] among young people themselves appear to play a role.

…. Firstly, cannabis use has been declining in many Western nations where cannabis use remains illegal, including New Zealand. This appears to be part of a broader shift in adolescent behaviour, not a response to policy changes.

Declining teen cannabis use in states that have decriminalised recreational cannabis does not prove that cannabis age restrictions work. Rather, teen cannabis use has likely fallen in those states for the same reason it has fallen elsewhere: young people are spending [less time with their friends] and have fewer opportunities for substance use in general.

Secondly, it is well known that adolescents access alcohol and tobacco primarily through friends and family, not from retailers. Why would cannabis be any different? Given the draft law allows cannabis growing for personal use, it is highly likely that legalisation will result in increased access through young people’s social networks.
https://theconversation.com/teen-use-of-cannabis-has-dropped-in-new-zealand-but-legalisation-could-make-access-easier-132165

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Mixing weed, alcohol and driving: The ‘unanswered question’ in the cannabis referendum

NewsHub 22 February 2020
Family First Comment: This is a situation where one plus one actually equals a lot more than two. People don’t realise that the combination of alcohol and cannabis… acts as a multiplier. Combining even a small amount of alcohol with drugs is going to potentially mean that you are really, really impaired and shouldn’t be driving.

By the end of this year it could be legal in New Zealand to smoke a joint at a party, which could raise an interesting dilemma. If you have a beer or two and a few puffs on a joint, will you be able to drive?

Most Kiwis know the drink driving laws. If they find themselves at a party and they’re planning to drive, generally people will only have one or two drinks.

But what will the cannabis laws be, and do Kiwis realise the potentially deadly consequences of mixing the two substances with driving?

These questions have been brought sharply into focus ahead of the cannabis referendum this year.

Last year the Government released a draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill which Kiwis will vote on at the election. If passed, recreational cannabis would be made legal.

The proposed law change includes a number of control measures such as a minimum purchase age of 20, a ban on marketing and advertising and controls on the potency of recreational cannabis being sold.
READ MORE: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/02/mixing-weed-alcohol-and-driving-the-unanswered-question-in-the-cannabis-referendum.html

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Number of teens trying cannabis drops, new figures show

Radio NZ News 21 February 2020
Family First CommentGreat news. Similar to drops in smoking, teen sex and teen abortions. Don’t legalise drugs and mess up the positive trend.
“previous studies into cannabis use amongst teens from 2001 to 2012 also showed a decline. We know that cannabis trends are really closely tied to smoking trends and alcohol use,” 

The number of 14 and 15 year olds who have tried cannabis has fallen by more than a quarter.

Statistics published in the New Zealand Medical Journal show in 2018, only 14 percent of Year 10 students have taken the drug – down from 19 percent in 2012.

The authors said the decline was to be expected – previous studies into cannabis use amongst teens from 2001 to 2012 also showed a decline.

“We know that cannabis trends are really closely tied to smoking trends and alcohol use,” said research fellow at the University of Otago, Jude Ball.

She told RNZ’s Morning Report it was based on an earlier study that showed that cannabis use had declined really substantially in high school students between 2001 and 2012.

“That decline is continuing in this age group, but it is slowing,” she said.

“We knew that smoking and alcohol use have continued down in this age group.”
READ MORE: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/410009/number-of-teens-trying-cannabis-drops-new-figures-show

Teen cannabis use is declining, adults increasing in New Zealand – study
TVNZ One News 21 February 2020
The number of New Zealand teenagers using cannabis is dropping, however the number of adults using it is rising, according to a new study.

Today’s study found cannabis use in Year 10 students (typically aged 14 and 15 years old) has continued to drop since 2012.

Around 12 per cent of teenagers have tried cannabis, according to the study by New Zealand Medical Association, down from 19 per cent.

The number of teens who acknowledge weekly use has also declined slightly, from 4.1 per cent to 3.3 per cent.

“This was predicted, since cannabis trends in this age group are strongly associated with tobacco trends, and it was already known that smoking in Year 10 students had continued to decline since 2012,” the authors say in the report.

“The evidence suggests that adolescents’ willingness to try cannabis has increased, but their opportunities for doing so have decreased due to less face to face time with friends and fewer drinking and smoking occasions.”

The researchers say it’s based on self-reported data conducted in schools every two years.
READ MORE: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/teen-cannabis-use-declining-adults-increasing-in-new-zealand-study
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Legalising cannabis: Supporters, opponents take swipes at each other as polls show knife-edge decision

NZ Herald 21 February 2020
Family First Comment: McCoskrie attributed the decline of the ‘yes’ vote to the strength of the ‘no’ campaign so far, including a 24-page pamphlet that had been delivered nationwide.  He added that people had mistakenly thought the referendum was about medicinal cannabis, and had changed their minds from ‘Yes’ to ‘No’ when they realised it was about personal use.

Recent polls on legalising recreational cannabis show support falling for the ‘yes’ vote, but also a significant number of undecideds who could ultimately swing the September 19 vote.

The ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigns are pulling together funding and strategies to reach voters – including the roughly 10 per cent of undecided voters – in what is expected to be an intense and potentially ugly campaign.

Both sides are already accusing the other of misinformation and of being in the financial shadow of the other.

The referendum is being held as part of the Labour-Greens confidence and supply agreement, and the Government has released a draft bill detailing what legalisation would look like.

This week two polls – Newshub Reid Research and 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton – both showed 39 per cent support to legalise recreational cannabis use; the ‘no’ vote had 48 per cent support in the former and 51 per cent support in the latter.

1 News Colmar Brunton has shown 47 per cent support for legalisation in 2017, 46 per cent in 2018, and 43 and 39 per cent in two polls last year, while a Newshub Reid Research poll last year had 42 per cent supporting legalisation.

Polls by Horizon have also seen a decline in support for legalisation, dropping from 60 per cent a year ago to 48 per cent in November.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12310176

New Zealanders back legal weed once they know the facts – poll
NewsHub 21 February 2020
Kiwis will vote to legalise cannabis if they actually know what they’re voting on, pro-legalisation campaigners have claimed.

A referendum later this year will ask whether recreational use of the popular drug should be made legal. Recent polls have found support for legalisation slipping.

But a new poll has found when voters are told what’s in the proposed legislation, support for legalisation comfortably outweighs opposition.

“It’s going to be really important that people understand what is proposed, and they have good access to accurate, evidence-based information about the issue and the likely impacts of the law change so they can make an informed decision,” said Holly Walker, deputy director of the Helen Clark Foundation, which paid for the polling, conducted by UMR.

When first asked, respondents were almost evenly split on legalisation – 46 percent for, 44 against and 10 undecided. But once the details of the Government’s draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill were explained, support grew to 50 percent, opposition fell to 42 percent and undecided dropped to 8 percent.
READ MORE: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/02/new-zealanders-back-legal-weed-once-they-know-the-facts-poll.html

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Kate Hawkesby: Drug Foundation cannabis survey shouldn’t be trusted

NewsTalk ZB 21 February 2020
Family First Comment: Spot on!
“Two independent surveys recently showed support for cannabis reform dropping to 39 percent, and yet the Drug Foundation.. an organisation propped up with government funding, with vested political interests acting as a lobby group for reform, magically produce a new survey showing support for it increases to 50, ‘when people are more informed’. What does that mean? More informed by a certain bias? Well yes.

We had the Drug Foundations Ross Bell on earlier in the show, claiming a study they’ve done, with questions commissioned by the Helen Clark Foundation showing support for cannabis legalisation at 50 percent.

Here’s my problem with that – two independent surveys recently showed support for cannabis reform dropping to 39 percent, and yet the Drug Foundation.. an organisation propped up with government funding, with vested political interests acting as a lobby group for reform, magically produce a new survey showing support for it increases to 50, ‘when people are more informed’.

What does that mean? More informed by a certain bias? Well yes.

According to the Foundation, ‘more informed’ means telling people about the controls and rules in the draft legislation, but does not include giving real life examples like the recent spike in the black market in Canada, and the huge problem with crime and the increase in youth use and addiction rates in Colorado.

That’s not what the Drug Foundation regards as ‘informing’.

And by the way, whose doing the educating and informing campaigns on our drug reform?

The Drug Foundation’s one of them. They’re currently advertising a campaign organiser job touting ’30 weeks to win on cannabis’ at 72 grand a year (pro rata).
READ MORE: https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/early-edition/opinion/kate-hawkesby-drug-foundation-cannabis-survey-at-odds-with-independent-surveys/

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