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Marijuana users get high at work in states with legal weed – survey (US)

The Seattle Times 13 March 2019
Family First Comment: “One in four marijuana users who are employed admit to doing this within the past year, according to a new survey of cannabis consumers in Washington, Oregon and Colorado, three states where recreational weed is legal… The survey shows that after legalization, many cannabis consumers increased their usage.”
Read our Fact Sheet on this issue https://saynopetodope.org.nz/workplace/

One in four marijuana users who are employed admit to doing this within the past year, according to a new survey of cannabis consumers in Washington, Oregon and Colorado, three states where recreational weed is legal.

One in four also said they’ve gotten high before work — I’m guessing it’s the same one in four, but the survey doesn’t specify. The marketing communications firm Quinn Thomas, which has offices in Seattle and Portland, funded the survey, which was conducted by polling-and-opinion outfit DHM Research. A representative sample of 900 cannabis consumers were interviewed — 300 in each of the three states — from Jan. 8 to 14. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.

“There is a lot of information out there about the cannabis industry and its regulatory structure, but not much is known about consumers,” said Zach Knowling, vice president at Quinn Thomas, in an email. “We felt our experience researching and reaching unique audiences could build greater understanding of who they are.”

Washington and Colorado both legalized recreational use of marijuana through voter initiatives in 2012, becoming the first states to do so. Oregon followed in 2014. The survey shows that after legalization, many cannabis consumers increased their usage. In Washington 44 percent of respondents said they are now regular consumers of pot (daily or a few times per week), compared with 36 percent who said they consumed that much prelegalization.

… While the survey shows that getting stoned at work is a fairly commonplace activity, so is drug testing. Twenty-one percent of respondents said they’ve been subjected to a drug test that checked for cannabis within the past year. And just about the same number said they stopped getting high for a while in order to pass the test.
READ MORE: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/1-in-4-marijuana-users-with-a-job-get-stoned-at-work-survey-says/
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Andrew Dickens: Legalising cannabis is unnecessary

NewsTalk ZB 14 May 2019
Family First Comment: Another prominent broadcaster joins the NO camp…
“Chlöe Swarbrick said the main reason was being able to regulate and control the supply and in doing, so keep the drug out of the hands of gangs and out of the hands of kids. This does not wash with me. Currently, the Government has regulation and control of supply, because the drug is illegal. Meanwhile, the law is a tool to crack down on the gangs whose criminality goes much further than just cannabis. When asked what the gangs would do in a legalised market Chlöe hoped they’d go legit. Dream on.”
www.VoteNO.nz

So last night I sat down with my son and watched Jack Tame interview Chlöe Swarbrick about the proposed legalisation of cannabis.

On a purely superficial basis, it was remarkable watching a baby faced 31-year-old interview and even more baby faced 24-year-old on nationwide TV.

The skin was so smooth and the eyes were so clear. The conversation was snappy and polite. Welcome to the new world of millennial politics.

It started with an easy definition of the difference between decriminalisation and legalisation, which is important because we, in essence, have had an unofficial decriminalised status for the personal use of the drug for quite a while.

There is also the proposed changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act which gives police the discretion to sentence a person to rehabilitation rather than fines or imprisonment.

Slowly we are accepting that drugs are both a criminal and health problem.

So when asked why she wants cannabis legalised, Chlöe Swarbrick said the main reason was being able to regulate and control the supply and in doing, so keep the drug out of the hands of gangs and out of the hands of kids.

This does not wash with me. Currently, the Government has regulation and control of supply, because the drug is illegal.

Meanwhile, the law is a tool to crack down on the gangs whose criminality goes much further than just cannabis. When asked what the gangs would do in a legalised market Chlöe hoped they’d go legit. Dream on.

Saying that Governmental control of supply will keep the drug out of the hands of the kids is also fanciful. With the drug legal on the street, there will be a plentiful secondary market for the kids to tap into – older brothers, sisters, mates and budding entrepreneurs. Ms Swarbrick told us last night, that 80 per cent of New Zealanders have tried the drug under its illegal status. Let’s aim for 100 per cent shall we by making it legal.

The debate then wandered on to drug testing for drug driving and arcane driving statistics out of Colorado.

Which left my son and I asking each other who actually needs this bill? Who is crying out for legalised dope? What social issue is this measure trying to help? And for the life of us, we couldn’t see the reason.
READ MORE: https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/andrew-dickens-afternoons/opinion/andrew-dickens-heres-why-legalising-cannabis-is-unnecessary/

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Random roadside drug testing must be urgently introduced

Stuff co.nz 14 May 2019
Family First Comment: Well said Mike Yardley… 
“The drug liberalisation lobby cannot ignore the inconvenient truth that drug impairment is now a bigger killer than alcohol-impairment on our roads. The latest available fatality data-set compiled by government agencies, and widely circulated by the Automobile Association, indicates that in 2017, drug-impaired driving cost 79 lives, compared to 70 deaths caused by drink-drivers… I remain firmly unconvinced that legalising cannabis for recreational use is in New Zealand’s interest. I have no problem with expanding drug addictions services, so long as the provider has a proven record in effectiveness, but legalisation will throw more fuel on the fire. More self-inflicted addiction, more wasted lives, when our mental health system is already bursting at the seams.”

OPINION: I received an email recently from a heartbroken North Canterbury couple, grieving the death of their son, who died at the hands of a cannabis-impaired driver.

Their family tragedy spurred them to sign the Matthew Dow petition, which his mother, Karen, presented to Parliament last week. The Dow petition calls for New Zealand to urgently introduce random roadside drug testing, replicating the saliva-based technology that has been widely deployed across the Western world.

Last week’s coronial inquiry into one of New Zealand’s worst mass-fatality road crashes has also highlighted the scourge of drug-impaired driving. It’s been revealed the driver responsible for the horror two-car crash that killed seven people in Waverly, Taranaki, had repeatedly consumed synthetic drugs before he got behind the wheel. Family victims from that catastrophe have also joined the crusade for drug testing.

The drug liberalisation lobby cannot ignore the inconvenient truth that drug impairment is now a bigger killer than alcohol-impairment on our roads. The latest available fatality data-set compiled by government agencies, and widely circulated by the Automobile Association, indicates that in 2017, drug-impaired driving cost 79 lives, compared to 70 deaths caused by drink-drivers.

The Dow petition is calling for the introduction of saliva tests on drugs to complement breath-testing for alcohol. It is conspicuous that in 2017 there were only 200 convictions for drug-impaired driving, compared with 16,000 for drink-driving.

The current cognitive impairment test, relied upon by police, is infrequently exercised and is best consigned to the 1950s. The current Police Minister, Stuart Nash, while in opposition, relentlessly hounded National about failing to introduce roadside driver drug-testing.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/112674482/random-roadside-drug-testing-must-be-urgently-introduced

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Tommy Wilson: Do we really need to get high at all?

NZ Herald 10 May 2019
Family First Comment: “We seem to be stuck with two opposing choices. If we legalise or at least decriminalise dope we stop the stigma of breaking the law. The other side of the cannabis coin is we open up the availability to the already vulnerable – especially our tamariki. The damage done by drink is heartbreaking when you see it every day, so for me adding another drug to the problem can only go one way with no exit…  Maybe we should be asking ourselves – and each other, why do we need to get high at all, be it by drinking or drugging… (David) Bowie said, “Drugs gave me nothing. In the end I regretted I ever took them. There so-called liberating qualities were illusory”.

For me the issue is bigger than a bong full of buds, a jar full of rasta-infused gummy bears or growing a couple of plants in your own back yard for personal consumption.

I am all good for growing anything that either feeds you or fixes you up.

However, we seem to be stuck with two opposing choices. If we legalise or at least decriminalise dope we stop the stigma of breaking the law. The other side of the cannabis coin is we open up the availability to the already vulnerable – especially our tamariki. The damage done by drink is heartbreaking when you see it every day, so for me adding another drug to the problem can only go one way with no exit.

Bit of a Mexican marijuana stand-off really.

Maybe there is a third option to entertain?

Maybe we should be asking ourselves – and each other, why do we need to get high at all, be it by drinking or drugging.

In a recent interview on the Jim Mora Sunday show, Jim interviewed Mike Garson, David Bowie’s life-long friend and pianist who never took anything to enhance his creative talents during his 47-year touring career with the Starman.

His quote from Bowie himself about drugs has held its higher ground in my mind ever since and that in itself proves I still have some memory left.

Bowie said, “Drugs gave me nothing. In the end I regretted I ever took them. There so-called liberating qualities were illusory”.

Tautoko Rawiri I have come to the same realisation myself.

For my two bobs’ worth of what we should do about cannabis reform, all I can add to the pot pot is what I know from personal experience, and if we do decriminalise it – and we should, then let’s also sow the seed of sobriety.

Staying straight and getting high on love, life and learning is also equally as cool as cannabis.

So, this leads me back down the long and winding road to loss of memory and its possible connection to lazy thinking brought about by smoking too much of the “holy herb” back in the day.

If we legalise cannabis and it becomes available everywhere, what effect will it have on those who are already logged into lazy thinking? How will the instant everything generation react when Uncle Google is already dumbing them down by doing their thinking for them?

Lazy thinking induces a lazy lifestyle and limits the potential of our people, Māori and non-Māori.

We need to understand where the referendum will take us and prepare for the good, the bad and the ugly of decriminalising cannabis.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/premium/news/article.cfm?c_id=1504669&objectid=12229174

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Denver votes to decriminalise magic mushrooms by razor-thin margin

BBC News 9 May 2019
Family First Comment: This is how wacky things are going to get…
“The UK’s National Health Service describes them as a hallucinogenic “making people see, hear and experience the world in a different, ‘trippy’ way”.”
Understatement of the year!

Denver has voted to decriminalise the use of magic mushrooms – the first US city to do so.

The motion was put to a public vote on Tuesday, and passed with a slim majority of 50.6%.

Although the mushrooms will technically still be illegal, restrictions on personal use and possession by adults will be drastically loosened.

Police officers will now be instructed to treat magic mushroom users as their lowest priority.

Denver decriminalised cannabis in 2005 ahead of the rest of the state of Colorado. Tuesday’s referendum was the first US public vote on magic mushrooms.

What are magic mushrooms?
They are a form of fungus found across the world which contains a psychedelic chemical called psilocybin.

The UK’s National Health Service describes them as a hallucinogenic “making people see, hear and experience the world in a different, ‘trippy’ way”.
READ MORE: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48185366

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Suspended Nick Smith says Drug Driving Bill an urgent priority

Stuff co.nz 9 May 2019
Family First Comment: Dealing with the actual outcomes of drug liberalisation….
“In 2017, drivers under the influence of drugs were proven to have been involved in 79 fatal crashes on New Zealand roads, compared to 70 for those driving under the influence of alcohol.”

National MP Nick Smith says his party will continue to put pressure on the government to introduce random roadside drug testing.

The Nelson MP was suspended from the House yesterday when he made critical comments towards Speaker Trevor Mallard, after he sought leave to introduce a drug driving bill first put forward by MP Alastair Scott in September last year.

During question time in Parliament on Wednesday Smith had asked for the bill to be set down as the first members’ order of the day on May 22, but that was rejected by Mallard.

Smith said there was an urgent need to get the bill before a select committee, with drug-impaired road fatalities escalating in recent years.

“In the past five years that number has gone from 15 per year to 79, and last year for the first time it exceeded the number of deaths on the road from drunk driving.”

In 2017, drivers under the influence of drugs were proven to have been involved in 79 fatal crashes on New Zealand roads, compared to 70 for those driving under the influence of alcohol.

The bill proposed by Scott would allow police officers to undertake random roadside testing for THC, MDMA, and methamphetamine, similar to current legislation in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/112595240/suspended-nick-smith-says-drug-driving-bill-an-urgent-priority

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Where’s the pot? California tracking system unlikely to know

Radio NZ News 9 May 2019
Family First Comment: “As of last month, just nine retail outlets were entering data into the network established under an estimated $US60 million state contract, even though 627 shops are licensed to sell pot in California.”
So called ‘regulation’ fails! And not just in California.

When California voters broadly legalised marijuana, they were promised that a vast computer platform would closely monitor products moving through the new market. But 16 months after sales kicked in, the system known as track-and-trace isn’t doing much of either.

As of last month, just nine retail outlets were entering data into the network established under an estimated $US60 million state contract, even though 627 shops are licensed to sell pot in California.

The rate of participation is similarly slim for other sectors in the emerging industry.

Only 93 of more than 1000 licensed manufacturing companies producing extracts, oils and other products were documenting their activities in the network in April. And of the nearly 4000 licensed growers, only about 7 percent, or 254, are using the high-tech system, according to a review of state data.

How are state officials watching over the nation’s largest legal pot market ? For now, it’s essentially a paper trail.

Most California companies are required to document their business on paper sales invoices and shipping manifests. But experts say that can be a doorway for criminal traffic.

With paper records, regulators are relying on an honor system, said Patrick Vo, CEO of BioTrackTHC, which provides seed-to-sale cannabis tracking in eight states, including New York and Illinois.

Without a digital crumb trail in place, “there are so many areas where things can go wrong,” Mr Vo said. “Things can be intentionally altered.”
READ MORE: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/388855/where-s-the-pot-california-tracking-system-unlikely-to-know

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Support for legal cannabis slips in new poll

NewsHub 9 May 2019
Family First Comment: And will continue to slip 🙂

As the prospect of legal cannabis gets closer, Kiwis appear to be getting nervous.

A new poll has found the gap between support for legalisation and opposition is narrowing.

In a new poll conducted by Horizon, 52 percent of Kiwis said they’d vote in favour of legalisation in next year’s referendum, and 37 percent against.

When Horizon asked the exact same question six months ago, 60 percent were in favour and 24 percent against.

The poll was commissioned by medicinal cannabis company Helius Therapeutics. Chief executive Paul Manning said it might reflect the changing conversation around the popular drug.

“The commentary around cannabis has shifted in recent months. We’re now seeing some concerted scaremongering by conservative groups and others about cannabis being legalised for personal use.”

Whereas six months ago the airwaves were filled with talk about the benefits of medicinal cannabis.

“What we do know, after commissioning two large surveys on the topic, is that a majority of Kiwis continue to support legalising the personal use of cannabis,” said Manning. “There may have been a lot of political noise in recent days, but that statistical fact hasn’t changed in six months.”
READ MORE: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/05/support-for-legal-cannabis-slips-in-new-poll.html

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Medical Association opposes cannabis legalisation!

Medical Association opposes cannabis legalisation but backs civil penalties for drug possession
NZ Herald 8 May 2019
Family First Comment: Who do you believe? Greens and Drug Foundation OR medical professionals? That’s easy. #VoteNo
“The NZMA, which represents doctors in all areas of medicine, said cannabis was a harmful drug which caused a range of health and social harms at both the individual and community level. It did not condone the use of cannabis for recreational purposes and opposed legalisation.”

The body which represents the country’s doctors says it remains opposed to legalising cannabis after the Government outlined plans for a public referendum on the issue next year.

However, the New Zealand Medical Association said it was in favour of civil rather than criminal penalties for cannabis possession, saying it was consistent with goals to reduce harm related to the drug.

The NZMA, which represents doctors in all areas of medicine, said cannabis was a harmful drug which caused a range of health and social harms at both the individual and community level.

It did not condone the use of cannabis for recreational purposes and opposed legalisation, its members said in a statement today. The Government’s announcements about a referendum on legalising cannabis in 2020 had not changed this position.

Chairwoman Kate Baddock said that in addition to physical harm, cannabis created social and psychological harm.

“We are disappointed that the Government is not showing leadership on a matter that has far-reaching effects for all New Zealanders.

“What we would like to see is the Government undertaking targeted initiatives to reduce the social inequalities that increase the risk of harm from drug use and meaningful investment into education and treatment programmes.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12228985

New Zealand Medical Association and Cannabis 2020 Referendum
NZ Doctor 8 May 2019 
Cannabis is a harmful drug that causes a range of health and social harms at the individual and community level. NZMA does not condone the use of cannabis for recreational purpose and opposes legalisation. This position has not changed with the government’s announcement yesterday (Tuesday 7 May) of a 2020 cannabis legalisation referendum.

NZMA strongly believes that cannabis use is a significant health and social issue. Furthermore, cannabis needs to be viewed in terms of social determinants and the social gradient where our most vulnerable people are at greater risk of drug harms.

“In addition to the physical harm caused by cannabis its use creates social and psychological harm, particularly for younger people” says Dr Kate Baddock Chair of the NZMA, “and we are disappointed that the government is not showing leadership on a matter that has far-reaching effects for all New Zealanders. “

“What we would like to see is the government undertaking targeted initiatives to reduce the social inequalities that increase the risk of harm from drug use and meaningful investment into education and treatment programmes. NZMA would also like to see a public education campaign to demonstrate that ‘soft’ or ‘recreational’ drugs, as any drug, can have serious and harmful effects.

“NZMA believes that it is consistent with a principle of harm reduction for the possession of cannabis for personal use to attract civil penalties such as court orders requiring counselling and education (particularly for young and first-time offenders), or attendance at ‘drug courts’ which divert users from the criminal justice system into treatment.”
https://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/article/undoctored/new-zealand-medical-association-and-cannabis-2020-referendum
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Cannabis gummy bears could be banned under law reform

NewsHub 9 May 2019
Family First Comment: Far more to worry about than just gummi bears.
This shows just how naïve OR misleading the Greens are being around the real risks of cannabis products. 
#saynopetodope

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick has brushed off National’s concerns around cannabis-infused edibles, suggesting most types will likely be banned.

National’s drug law reform spokesperson Paula Bennett said cannabis-infused edibles could be “dressed up so they’re appealing to young people and accidental use is of real concern”.

Swarbrick wouldn’t confirm cannabis-infused gummy bears would definitely be banned, but said there was consensus among the Greens, Labour and New Zealand First that protecting children and displacing the black market were top priorities.

“In line with all of those things, it’s pretty evident that we will be following what other jurisdictions have done in terms of banning or ensuring that we won’t have gummy bears.”

Swarbrick said there’s no way with the Government’s “health-based approach” to drug reform that “we would be enabling products that could be argued as targeted towards children”.

She said there will be “nothing to glorify the consumption of cannabis” – and actually, “quite the opposite because there will be public education campaigns about the harms”.

Swarbrick wouldn’t confirm cannabis-infused gummy bears would definitely be banned, but said there was consensus among the Greens, Labour and New Zealand First that protecting children and displacing the black market were top priorities.

“In line with all of those things, it’s pretty evident that we will be following what other jurisdictions have done in terms of banning or ensuring that we won’t have gummy bears.”

Swarbrick said there’s no way with the Government’s “health-based approach” to drug reform that “we would be enabling products that could be argued as targeted towards children”.

She said there will be “nothing to glorify the consumption of cannabis” – and actually, “quite the opposite because there will be public education campaigns about the harms”.

Comparing cannabis-infused lollies to alcohol-soaked lollies, Bennett said: “You’re not going to get absolutely drunk off a couple of vodka-soaked lollies, but you can get absolutely wasted on a few concentrated marijuana [edibles].”
READ MORE: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/05/cannabis-gummy-bears-could-be-banned-under-law-reform.html
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