In what is seen as a victory for Independent, Ann Bressington, the South Australian government has successfully passed her bill to ban certain drug paraphernalia including bongs.
Anne Bressington is a twat. A first class twat. Once again her selfish, arrogant holier-than-thou opinions have been pushed onto the public. As a former Administrator for the Festival of Light and keen suporter of Fred Niles Christian Democrat Party, the foundations of her polices start to take shape. Completely void of evidence or scientific research, Bressington hails the strategy of Zero Tolerance as the “answer” to the drug problem. She hates Harm Minimisation and has contempt for those who support evidence based treatment that is different from her own unique brand of research. Bressington earned her fame from the infamous split with independent, Nick Xenophon.
The ridiculous new laws were passed last week and prohibits the sale of bongs, pipes, cocaine “kits” and even hookahs which are a traditional item for some cultures. Those caught, could face 2 years jail and/or a $50,000 fine. The whole idea of banning drug paraphernalia has been a issue for Bressington since 2006 when she introduced the Controlled Substances (Sale of Equipment) Amendment Bill. Like drinking, a certain culture arises around drugs especially marijuana. Shops that sell related equipment can be rather “in your face” and enough to make some self moralising conservatives a little uncomfortable. Since most people don’t visit these shops, Bressington fallaciously compared the sale of drug equipment to an issue that was more familiar to the public - the sale of alcohol and tobacco.
"It would be unthinkable for a tobacconist to be able to sell cigarettes to minors on the understanding that those minors would not open the packet and smoke the cigarettes"
"It would be just as unthinkable to sell alcohol on the understanding that the bottle would not be opened and the alcohol not consumed."
Of course fuckwits like Bressington have absolutely no consideration for anyone’s well being and are more interested in pushing their own personal views onto the public. Experts have been trying to explain to her for a long time now, the problems attached to banning clean and safe equipment for drug users. Her head must be so thick that this information was unable to reach the tiny pea like brain that is incased in cold, hard shit. Her “victory” might be good for the comfort of her conservative cheer squad but probably a death sentence for others. At best, she is going to be responsible for hundreds of sicknesses each year including possibly the spread of HIV-AIDS to users who might have avoided it previously. All this is unimportant to the likes of Bressington and co because it’s better to send the right message than to allow someone to buy a wooden water pipe, regardless of the damage, death and pain it causes.
Ms Bressington said the new laws would help prevent children being lured into illegal drug use.
-Sydney Morning Herald
Like needle exchanges (which she disapproves of), these shops provide clean, safe equipment for drug users so that blood-borne diseases are not transferred between them. If users share a badly made pipe and burn or cut their lips, blood might be passed on to the next user who might pickup HIV-AIDS, Hep B/C or other nasties. The same goes with home made bongs that are usually low quality and are made of materials that are not suited for the purpose of inhaling smoke. Home made equipment might also contain lethal chemicals or carcinogenic agents that react when heated up. The dangers are many and very real.
This blatant use of her position to appease a minority group of Zero Tolerance zealots needs to be questioned by other members of parliment who are supposed to have our best interest at heart. What positive outcomes has been achieved? What are the advantages of banning such equipment in comparison to the lives it may save or the health problems that are avoided? Another factor to consider is why hasn’t the advice of experts been taken into consideration? Why has the advice of specialists who deal with these issues professionally been overlooked in favour of so called “public concerns” which have no solid data to back it up.
In 2006 when Bressington was pushing for compulsory drug testing in schools, she stated that, "The reaction from parents has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive in SA". This was her reasoning to dedicate so much time and effort to her cause. When she later announced her proposed bill, parent groups, medical experts and school associations were not “overwhelmingly positive” like she claimed but outraged about the proposal.
”Making the tests compulsory completely overrides the rights of parents. It’s mandatory. It removes all consent from parents. This is a Bill that could potentially take so much away from parents, school communities and community groups.”
-David Knuckey. Director of the South Australian Association of State Schools Organisation
As usual, the contemptuous Bressington showed off her rhetorical tactics and rolled out the “soft on drugs” attack to anyone who opposed her. This label is a familiar trait of the religious right and moralist who preach moral based drug policies over evidence and research. Anyone who opposes their views are labelled “soft on drugs” and it’s always lapped up by the media. For example, Howard’s favourite NGO, Drug Free Australia, cornered the major political parties with a tricked up survey before the election. They asked for a public response as to whether they were going to have tough drug policies like the Liberal Party or be “soft on drugs”.
Although the anti-drugs campaigner’s move has outraged parent groups, she says anyone who opposes her legislation, which also would allow tests to be carried out without parental consent, is “soft on drugs”.
Critical Times - MPs want drug test for teens. 17/08/2006
Again Bressington has used so called “public support” to introduce this latest bill. She was allowed to actually bring into law, a dangerous and unworkable policy based on nothing but the view that the public wanted it. Like the drug testing in schools issue, those who opposed her were labelled “soft on drugs” and their often expert advice was dismissed.
“Concerned parents need to watch closely who opposes the measure . . . it will be an indication of who is soft on drugs”
With the threat of being labelled “soft on drugs”, both Liberal and Labor supported Bressington’s bill. Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has also jumped on the band wagon and is flagging the new bill as a success to the government. Taking the lead from Bressington, he has labelled Liberal Party Legal Affairs spokesman Isobel Redmond and Independent M.P. Kris Hanna as “the Cheech & Chong of the State Parliament as they try to save the bong” because they wanted the bill amended. Closer examination reveals that they only wanted to exempt culturally important & traditional water pipes like hookahs, narghiles, shishas and ghalyans, from the ban .
Many experts opposed the new bill but facts and evidence have never influenced Bressington’s views before. One local drug expert, pharmacology associate professor Rodney Irvine, said users will seek other ways to inhale smoke and that could be more dangerous.
"When you close one loophole another one emerges, a different pattern of use emerges. They'll make them out of anything, obviously. "I would say that there's a possibility those alternative homemade ones will have some problems." -Associate Professor Rodney Irvine
"When you close one loophole another one emerges, a different pattern of use emerges. They'll make them out of anything, obviously. "I would say that there's a possibility those alternative homemade ones will have some problems."
-Associate Professor Rodney Irvine
Ann Bressington is the epitome of what’s wrong with our drug policies. A self appointed guardian of our desperate need to ruin our lives through drugs. Luckily Bressington is around or else SA would have turned into a chaotic world of crazed junkies, raping and looting whilst Adelaide burns in the distance. Thank you Allah for our saviour, our moral beacon that shows me the way when I stray ... all the way to jail.