Category

Recent News

George Soros’ real crusade: Legalizing marijuana in the U.S. (and NZ)

Washington Times 2 April 2014
Family First Comment: “The pro-legalization movement hasn’t come from a groundswell of the people. A great deal of its funding and fraud has been perpetrated by George Soros and then promoted by celebrities. The truth is under attack, and it’s an absolutely dangerous direction for this country to be going in.”
#saynopetodope
VoteNO.nz

Billionaire philanthropist George Soros hopes the U.S. goes to pot, and he is using his money to drive it there.

With a cadre of like-minded, wealthy donors, Mr. Soros is dominating the pro-legalization side of the marijuana debate by funding grass-roots initiatives that begin in New York City and end up affecting local politics elsewhere.

Through a network of nonprofit groups, Mr. Soros has spent at least $80 million on the legalization effort since 1994, when he diverted a portion of his foundation’s funds to organizations exploring alternative drug policies, according to tax filings.

His spending has been supplemented by Peter B. Lewis, the late chairman of Progressive Insurance Co. and an unabashed pot smoker who channeled more than $40 million to influence local debates, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. The two billionaires’ funding has been unmatched by anyone on the other side of the debate.

Mr. Soros makes his donations through the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit he funds with roughly $4 million in annual contributions from his Foundation to Promote an Open Society.
READ MORE: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/2/billionaire-george-soros-turns-cash-into-legalized/

Government and pro-cannabis billionaire back drug conference
NZ Herald 16 February 2009
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10556944

‘Weed’ advocate can sponsor drugs event: PM
NZ Herald 16 February 2009
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10557109

 

Southport School’s drug-test principal feels vindicated (Australia)

The Australian July 2019
Family First Comment: Ssshhh – don’t tell the Greens or the Drug Foundation, but promoting drug free actually works. 🎉😄
“A Queensland school that was panned for introducing mandatory drug testing seven years ago has hailed the policy a success, with its principal claiming it has helped students to resist societal pressures to take drugs.”

A Queensland school that was panned for introducing mandatory drug testing seven years ago has hailed the policy a success, with its principal claiming it has helped students to resist societal pressures to take drugs.

The Southport School on the Gold Coast attracted national headlines in 2012 when, looking for a new way to handle the issue of students dabbling with drugs, it unveiled the drug testing policy.

“We had some issues that saw some boys expelled so we asked ourselves is there anything else we can do,” principal Greg Wain said.

“I started looking around at drug prevention polices and found that a lot of education campaigns just weren’t working. Many (drugs) actually pique the boys’ interest because many of them think they’re 10-feet tall and bulletproof and are natural risk-takers.”

The independent school, which counts a swag of elite athletes among its alumni, as well as former Queensland premier Rob Borbidge and Australian News Channel boss Paul Whittaker, is not alone in grappling with how to prevent teenage drug use.

While drug testing in schools is not popular or widespread — Victoria’s Department of Education does not recommend it, while NSW does not permit it — recent revelations from the NSW inquiry into the drug-related deaths of young people at music festivals have many experts questioning the effectiveness of drug education programs.

As part of the national health curriculum, schools are required to deliver drug education to students and each state sets its own drug education policy that includes dealing with drug-related incidents in schools.

The prevailing approach is based on harm-minimisation and supporting young people who have drug issues.

Mr Wain was initially opposed to drug testing students, concerned it would erode trust. However, the policy attracted overwhelming support from students and their families, who backed it on the condition that those who tested positive for the first time would be provided with confidential counselling. A second positive test results in expulsion. Now, on a Monday morning every few weeks, around 40 boys are selected to take a urine test. Two or three boys out of 900 record a positive test each year and since the policy’s introduction, four have been unable to stay off drugs and have been expelled.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/southport-schools-drugtest-principal-feels-vindicated/news-story/046451c709af45bdf00d38f6f14c15ca

signup-rollKeep up with family issues in NZ.
Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.

Darroch Ball: Pill testing stations no answer to party drug use

Magic Talk 18 July 2019
Family First Comment: Well said by NZ First’s Darroch Ball
“Contrary to some arguments, this is not a ‘health based approach’, as the people who are taking the drug are not the ones being treated. It is the drug itself that is being tested for purity and additives, which does nothing to deter the users from taking it. It seems as though we have almost given up trying to educate our young people, or to stop the drug-taking, and have instead opted to manage its use.” 

University orientation weeks and music festivals are synonymous with illegal, non-addictive, recreational drug use. And with Uni ‘Re-O-Weeks’ in full swing across the country at the moment, we’ll see more parties and a sharp uptake of drug use and the abuse that comes with it.

There are some calling for the Government to back pill testing stations at festivals and O-Weeks in order to reduce this growing problem. Pill testing stations test a user’s party pill, typically MDMA, for contaminants.

MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy or ‘E’, is not an addictive drug. The people who have chosen to take it are using it purely for recreational purposes, fully aware of the risks. Pill testing is not the equivalent of a wet-room or needle exchange, used in the treatment of addicts. It is instead solely designed as a quality control mechanism to determine what contaminants, additives, or other chemicals are in the substance.

By testing one pill from one individual there is no way of knowing if anyone else is taking the pill, how many pills are being taken, or what other drugs, including alcohol, the user has consumed – all of which are major contributors to deaths caused by ecstasy.

Contrary to some arguments, this is not a “health based approach”, as the people who are taking the drug are not the ones being treated. It is the drug itself that is being tested for purity and additives, which does nothing to deter the users from taking it.

It seems as though we have almost given up trying to educate our young people, or to stop the drug-taking, and have instead opted to manage its use. Handing over a pamphlet and giving advice about drug use achieves nothing in the middle of a music festival.
READ MORE: https://www.magic.co.nz/home/news/2019/07/darroch-ball–pill-testing-stations-no-answer-to-party-drug-use.html

NZ First pushes back on Police Minister’s music festival drug testing initiative
TVNZ One News 19 July 2019
The Police Minister’s plan to get pill testing in place before the summer music festival season begins is under attack by his coalition colleagues.

Stuart Nash revealed to 1 NEWS in January he wanted to change the rules around pill testing to ensure it was at festivals this summer.

“It saves lives, it save hospitalisations,” he said at the time. “It’s actually the right thing to do and it’s dealing with the reality in which we find ourselves.”

But New Zealand First MPs believe pill testing sends the wrong message.

Law and order spokesperson Darroch Ball said allowing pill testing stations at festivals was “blurring the lines between right and wrong and what’s illegal and not illegal”.

“We need to stop them taking it in the first place,” he told 1 NEWS today. “We’ve got to be very, very careful how we are trying to educate young people, especially in regards to the dangers of taking illegal dangerous drugs.”
READ MORE: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/nz-first-pushes-back-police-ministers-music-festival-drug-testing-initiative

twitter follow us

Pot-smoking parents are harsher with discipline: study

New York Post 17 July 2019
Family First Comment: “Smoking weed doesn’t make parents more chill when it comes to discipline — it actually makes them more likely to punish their kids.”
Looking forward to all the anti-smacking groups like the Green Party and others joining our campaign to oppose legalisation of cannabis. 🎉💨

Pot-smoking parents are such a buzzkill.

Smoking weed doesn’t make parents more chill when it comes to discipline — it actually makes them more likely to punish their kids, a new study has found.

The study of 3000 California parents found that marijuana users were more likely to administer all types of discipline techniques — including timeouts, taking away privileges and spanking — on their children than non-drug users.

“There are parents who say marijuana calms then down and makes them a better parent. That’s not what we’re seeing in this particular study,” lead researcher Dr Bridget Freisthler, a professor in the College of Social Work at Ohio State University, told The Post.

The research, published Monday in the Journal of Social Work Practice in the Additions, sampled random parents in 50 Californian cities and asked them how often they used alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine and other drugs. It found a .5-percent increase in the amount of discipline among toking parents over non-smokers.

It also probed parents on how frequently they used non-violent punishment such as timeouts, corporal punishment like spanking, and physical abuse, such as hitting a child with a fist.

Researchers found parents who reported marijuana use were more likely to control their kids than someone who didn’t smoke pot.

“That is not something we would have expected to see,”
READ MORE: https://nypost.com/2019/07/17/pot-smoking-parents-are-harsher-with-discipline-study/

facebook_icon

Kate Hawkesby: Cannabis referendum – be careful about what and who you are voting for

NZ Herald 18 July 2019
Family First Comment: Well said by Kate Hawkesby..
“…But the real danger with decriminalisation is what happens to cannabis production in terms of psychoactive properties. Colorado’s experience is that there’s a spike in these – and that in turn has a dramatic impact on mental health problems.”
#saynopetodope
VoteNO.nz

I see a secondary school headmaster is the latest to come out swinging against the cannabis referendum.

Kieran Fouhy, from St Paul’s College in Ponsonby, believes legalising cannabis when New Zealand already has an issue with alcohol is just asking for trouble. He thinks young people already have enough to contend with.

His main concern is younger people won’t respect the age restrictions, they’ll simply access cannabis from older friends.
He said: “When you legalise it, you normalise it.”

And he doesn’t buy into the Government’s line that it’s a health issue, or that decriminalising it will take it out of the hands of gangs.
And I agree, it won’t.

I spoke to Colorado’s executive director of the National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association, Jo McGuire, a couple of months ago and asked her about whether legalisation had shut down the black market there. She said it didn’t – in fact it exploded it.
And the thing about black market cannabis is that it’s higher in THC.

Since legalisation there, and bear in mind they are years into this experiment, there’s been a sharp increase in the black market and one of the reasons is personal cultivation in people’s own homes.

On top of that, you’ve got the regulatory market struggling to control limits on production, so they over-produce – which also feeds the black market.

So not only do people bypass the rules anyway, but you also have other people coming in and monetising the excess. Hence you get a thriving black market, irrespective of regulation.

Tax-wise, Colorado’s experience is that for every tax dollar that comes in, they’re spending $4.50.
Youth use has increased. One in four employees self-report that they go to work stoned.
In essence, Colorado’s still waiting to see any benefits from legalisation, McGuire said.
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12250487&ref=twitter  (behind paywall)

signup-rollKeep up with family issues in NZ.
Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.

As Juul deals with teen vaping ‘epidemic,’ CEO tells parents I’m sorry

CNBC News 13 July 2019
Kevin Burns, CEO of Juul Labs ⁠— the maker of the bestselling e-cigarette in the U.S. and center of federal regulators’ crackdown into what they’re calling a teen vaping “epidemic” ⁠— has a message for parents whose children are addicted to his company’s products: “I’m sorry.”

Since launching in 2015, Juul has quickly come to dominate the e-cigarette industry with roughly 40% of the market, becoming such a dominant player that Altria, the top U.S. cigarette company, invested $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in the San Francisco-based start-up. But the company has a problem: Its vapes are incredibly popular with teenagers.

The Food and Drug Administration has declared teen vaping an “epidemic,” citing federal survey data that showed nearly 21% of high school students vaped last year. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and health care advocates blame the surge in teen vaping on Juul.

CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla interviewed Burns for a documentary, “Vaporized: America’s E-cigarette Addiction,” which premiers Monday at 10 p.m. ET. Quintanilla, who toured one of Juul’s manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin with Burns, asked him what he would say to a parent with a child who was addicted to Juul.

“First of all, I’d tell them that I’m sorry that their child’s using the product,” said Burns, who joined Juul in late 2017. “It’s not intended for them. I hope there was nothing that we did that made it appealing to them. As a parent of a 16-year-old, I’m sorry for them, and I have empathy for them, in terms of what the challenges they’re going through.”

The company has tried to combat youth use by shutting down its social media accounts and pulling fruity flavors like creme and mango from retailers. So far, that hasn’t stopped criticism. The company’s hometown of San Francisco banned sales of e-cigarettes last month.

E-cigarettes are being marketed to adults to help them quit smoking while still getting their nicotine fix. But they’ve come under fire in recent months for their growing popularity among teens. Federal data shows about 3 million U.S. high school students vaped last year. That is prompting fears e-cigarettes are addicting a new generation of nicotine after decades of cigarette smoking rates plummeting.
READ MORE: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/13/as-juul-deals-with-teen-vaping-epidemic-ceo-tells-parents-im-sorry.html
twitter follow us

 

Medicinal cannabis ‘false hope’ for chronic pain sufferers – pain doctors

Radio NZ News 12 July 2019
Family First Comment: “…the largest review on the effects of chronic non-cancer pain showed medicinal cannabis did not work for most patients. You have to treat 24 patients to find one patient who has a 30 percent or more reduction in their pain, 23 out of 24 patients won’t even get a 30 percent reduction in their pain,”

Pain management doctors are worried the hype of medicinal cannabis is giving chronic pain patients false hope.

The Ministry of Health has released proposed regulations on how GPs and specialists could prescribe medicinal cannabis products.

The regulations are now open for public feedback.

Christchurch-based pain medicine specialist John Alchin said the largest review on the effects of chronic non-cancer pain showed medicinal cannabis did not work for most patients.

“You have to treat 24 patients to find one patient who has a 30 percent or more reduction in their pain, 23 out of 24 patients won’t even get a 30 percent reduction in their pain,” he said.

Dr Alchin said other medications for chronic pain had been proven to be much better than cannabinoids.

However, he said scientific reviews had also showed it could be very effective for paediatric epilepsy, pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis, or for those with nausea from chemotherapy.

“It’s not a blanket solution for everything but that’s the way it’s being presented – it’s the new ‘miracle drug’ – but that’s not what the data shows,” he said.
READ MORE: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/394227/medicinal-cannabis-false-hope-for-chronic-pain-sufferers-pain-doctors

facebook_icon

Illegal cannabis getting even cheaper, as legal gets costlier, StatsCan says

CBC News 10 July 2019
Family First Comment: “..there will likely always be a gap between legal and illegal drugs, mainly because the legal stuff has a host of added expenses that increases the cost of doing business. There’s an excise tax built in. Then, depending on the province, there’s GST and HST on top of that. There’s compliance costs that legal cannabis producers have that the illicit market doesn’t have to worry about. Add it all up and there’s quite a cost disadvantage.”

Statistics Canada’s quarterly report on cannabis prices suggests the cost chasm between legal and illegal versions of the drug is wide, and getting wider.

The data agency reported Wednesday that the price gap between the two types of cannabis is as wide as $4.72 a gram, on average.

Canada legalized recreational cannabis last October, but the rollout across the country has been plagued by delays, limited supply, and other logistical issues.

StatsCan has been asking Canadian cannabis users to tell them about how often they use the drug, and what they pay for it when they do, and the data paints an illuminating picture of a part Canadian society that used to operate solely in shadows.

Based on 572 voluntary responses the data agency deemed credible in the second quarter, StatsCan said the illegal version of the price fell from $6.23 per gram on average, at the start of the year, to $5.93 a gram in the three months up to the end of June.

Legal cannabis, meanwhile, went from $10.21 per gram to $10.65. That means the gap between the two is now as wide as $4.72 a gram.
READ MORE: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/cannabis-prices-1.5206554

signup-rollKeep up with family issues in NZ.
Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.

Ben Cort: “What NZ Needs To Understand About The Marijuana Debate”

Ben Cort is from Colorado and is the author of “Weed, Inc.: The Truth About the Pot Lobby, THC, and the Commercial Marijuana Industry“, released in September 2017. His passion for recovery, prevention and harm reduction comes from his own struggle with substance abuse. Sober since June 15, 1996, Ben has been a part of the recovery community in almost every way imaginable – from a recipient to a provider to a spokesperson. Ben has a deep understanding of the issues and a personal motivation to see the harmful effects of drug and alcohol abuse minimised.

Ben’s Ted-X talk in 2017, What commercialisation is doing to cannabis, has had more than 1.6 million views!

Ben recently visited New Zealand, speaking to community leaders, politicians and media. ‘ Ben is interviewed by Family First National Director Bob McCoskrie as part of the Forum on the Family 2019