Tips for writers opposed to cannabis reform

LETTER

Re: Marijuana lies, July 8 letter.

Tips for correspondents on cannabis legislative reform sharing their opinions and masquerading them as facts:

1. Try to ensure your arguments have some internal coherence and logic.

2. If you use statistics, it is always better to include a reference to independent, peer-reviewed published research that validates your claims — otherwise they are likely to be considered as the ridiculous scaremongering most of it actually is.

For example, this week a new study was published in JAMA Paediatrics. It looked at cannabis use trends by over 1.4m teenagers before and after cannabis legalisation and concluded that “consistent with the results of previous researchers, there was no evidence that the legalisation of medical marijuana encourages marijuana use among youth. Moreover, marijuana use among youth may actually decline after legalisation for recreational purposes. This latter result is consistent with the argument that it is more difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana as drug dealers are replaced by licensed dispensaries that require proof of age.”

3. Using emotive hyperbole may be an effective tactic, so keep doing that — unless you want to have some actual integrity in your efforts, in that case you need to start back at point 1.

Also, if you know of a source for 35 percent THC plants, please put us in touch — this would be at the biological upper limits of the plant and worth commercialising immediately.

If you’re worried about potency, you might flip out to know flowers for smoking are declining as a preferred form of consumption in favour of extracts and isolates that can reach 99 percent cannabinoid purity. Indeed Dronabinol has been on the market since 1986, it is pure THC and rare cases of a recorded severe overdose resulted in lethargy, slurred speech, decreased co-ordination, and hypotension. So even 100 percent pure THC is hardly a dangerous drug compared to the plethora of opioids and other synthetics so easily accessible — perhaps they deserve a little more attention from yourself and Mr McCoskrie?

Let me know if you’re seriously interested in the “health and wellbeing of our people” and we can compare more empirical evidence on how harmful continuing cannabis prohibition is compared with properly regulated adult access that New Zealand will get from a “Yes” vote in the referendum next year.

Manu Caddie

Re: Marijuana lies, July 8 letter.

Tips for correspondents on cannabis legislative reform sharing their opinions and masquerading them as facts:

1. Try to ensure your arguments have some internal coherence and logic.

2. If you use statistics, it is always better to include a reference to independent, peer-reviewed published research that validates your claims — otherwise they are likely to be considered as the ridiculous scaremongering most of it actually is.

For example, this week a new study was published in JAMA Paediatrics. It looked at cannabis use trends by over 1.4m teenagers before and after cannabis legalisation and concluded that “consistent with the results of previous researchers, there was no evidence that the legalisation of medical marijuana encourages marijuana use among youth. Moreover, marijuana use among youth may actually decline after legalisation for recreational purposes. This latter result is consistent with the argument that it is more difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana as drug dealers are replaced by licensed dispensaries that require proof of age.”

3. Using emotive hyperbole may be an effective tactic, so keep doing that — unless you want to have some actual integrity in your efforts, in that case you need to start back at point 1.

Also, if you know of a source for 35 percent THC plants, please put us in touch — this would be at the biological upper limits of the plant and worth commercialising immediately.

If you’re worried about potency, you might flip out to know flowers for smoking are declining as a preferred form of consumption in favour of extracts and isolates that can reach 99 percent cannabinoid purity. Indeed Dronabinol has been on the market since 1986, it is pure THC and rare cases of a recorded severe overdose resulted in lethargy, slurred speech, decreased co-ordination, and hypotension. So even 100 percent pure THC is hardly a dangerous drug compared to the plethora of opioids and other synthetics so easily accessible — perhaps they deserve a little more attention from yourself and Mr McCoskrie?

Let me know if you’re seriously interested in the “health and wellbeing of our people” and we can compare more empirical evidence on how harmful continuing cannabis prohibition is compared with properly regulated adult access that New Zealand will get from a “Yes” vote in the referendum next year.

Manu Caddie

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Reality check - 3 months ago
The cannabis 'proponents' in crowd seem to have convinced each other that legalisation is going to get voted in. Let's see what happens . . . The proponents are the most vocal, but the massive silent conservative majority are gonna vote it down.

A Daily Reader - 3 months ago
Manu, I am very concerned about the mental health effects of smoking weed. We already have very high rates of mental health problems and suicide in NZ, interestingly running right alongside our huge and accepted rate of drug use.
I know what I have seen in my life, I've seen what it does to people. There are common traits of long-term weed smokers, of that I am certain. I don't need to quote 'studies', although I am sure there are plenty. I have my own life experience and I trust what it has taught me.
I do not think that telling our kids it's OK and harmless is going to do any good at all for the 'health and wellbeing' of our people.
It was called dope for a reason.

Phil Hunt, Picton - 3 months ago
Thanks for your letter, Manu, but you didn't mention the effect of cannabis use on driving a motor vehicle. As we have no roadside testing in this country yet, we only know after a road accident if drugs were present in the driver. The same applies to work accidents, although I do concede that many employers run random tests on their workers. I agree with that approach, as I would not want to be driven on a bus or train, for example, if the driver was a pot smoker. I work in an industry where random testing takes place and have been tested a couple of times over the years and have no problem with it. So random roadside testing is a no-brainer!

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