Sunday, 29 June 2008

Drug Hysteria Ignores Trauma Suffering

S.A. Veterans' Affairs Minister, Michael Atkinson is a twat. A nasty, selfish, slimy political twat. Atkinson has used the suffering of hundreds of soldiers with post-traumatic stress syndrome as a vote gaining exercise, strengthening the ignorance of the current drug freaked, S.A. government. Why do I get the feeling that, Zero Tolerance bogan, Ann Bressington is behind this as well.
June 20, 2008
DEMOCRAT Sandra Kanck has accused Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Atkinson of being "hysterical" and "cynical" in attacking her call for an investigation into the use of ecstasy for war veterans.
Ms Kanck yesterday questioned in parliament whether the government would consider a trial of MDMA - also known as ecstasy - for soldiers.
She said trials of MDMA on soldiers with post-traumatic stress syndrome in the U.S. and Israel had shown "excellent results."
But Mr Atkinson said the Government would "not be supporting Sandra Kanck's latest rave" and "Vietnam Veterans are not laboratory mice for a left-wing social experiment."
Ms Kanck said if Mr Atkinson "really cared about veterans," he would look into any proposal that might help them and their families.
"He is either too superstitious to consider the science and the evidence or he is playing cynical politics," she said.
"'Veterans, like other Australians, are already being prescribed powerful drugs like highly addictive morphine for pain relief and benzodiazepines for post traumatic stress disorder. Both are potentially addictive and dangerous drugs."
Atkinson’s link to the street drug ecstasy from the medical pharmaceutical, MDMA is staggering. Somehow, he has classed a proven treatment as a “left-wing social experiment" purely because some people call it ecstasy. It’s still MDMA but people like Atkinson and Bressington ignore the benefits, and play on the public’s misconceptions which shows them up as having another agenda at hand. Ann Bressington is one of main critics of anything to do with illegal drugs, regardless of context.
Reading the comments from a related article at AdelaideNow is revealing. Over half give their support to scientific research of MDMA if it helps relieve PTSS in returning soldiers. The comment against MDMA are nearly all personal attacks on Sandra Kanck and have no basis at all which sounds surprisingly a lot like the official line of Atkinson and Bressington. Any new comer to the subject could be forgiven for thinking that it is an historical article from 1954. Sadly, we have come this far as a society yet we continue to ignore the lessons from history.
Sandra Kanck - A Example of What Politicians Should Be
I have been quite disturbed by an emerging trend of conservatism in politics.
-Hon. Sandra Kanck. S.A. MP
In 2006, Sandra Kanck gave a speech in parliament about drug hysteria and the influence of religion in politics. She revealed some disturbing facts about some MPs, including the rejection of Darwin's theory of evolution(thus believing in Noah’s Ark), making statements about drugs without any research and claims that religion influence their decisions.
“I am a servant of Christ, and subject to His reign in history.”
-Hon. Bernard Finnigan. S.A. MP
There were several interjections, mostly from Ann Bressington who kept it up constantly, but without the ability to go into her usual, unqualified rant, Bressington came across as an annoying, loud mouth bogan. Kanck even used some of the interjections as part of her speech which made Bressington look even sillier, if that is possible.
Sandra Kanck put the truth out there for the parliament to hear. SK used pill testing at raves/dance parties as an example of how ineffective current policies are and how far some will go to stop new initiatives with no valid evidence. Her reasoning was spot on, especially on the catch 22 situation of prohibiting certain research into illicit drugs which meant there was no evidence supporting many government strategies. A previous parliament submission for pill testing by SK was backed by overseas experience which showed that many potential pill users simply threw their drugs away, when after testing, were informed what was actually in them. Her proposal wasn’t accepted in S.A. because the government couldn’t agree to giving the pills back to the users once tested. SK noted, that without pill testing, ALL of the potential pill users took the pills. BTW, Bressington interjected several times.
SK is one of the few politicians who are not fearful of being tagged as ‘soft on drugs’. This method has been used by Ann Bressington before which puts her in the ‘typical, vote hungry’ politician category. Anyone who dares criticise the failing ‘tough on drugs’ policy is deemed to be pro-drugs which is the epitome of conservative, black and white thinking on the drug problem. Even the Democrats leader in 2006, Lyn Allison gave opposing views to the media about MDMA, showing that saving your political skin is far more entrenched than we may think.
I admire SK for doing what all politicians were elected to do ... to tell the truth and put the welfare of Australia before their own personal political careers.
One of the tasks I have taken on in my remaining four years in this parliament is to turn the spotlight on fundamentalism and extremism and to let the public know what the people they elected really stand for. I am not scared of a public backlash, because I will not stand for re-election. I am quite happy to take a position against the mainstream, but it will always be a well-researched position, as I showed regarding the history of MDMA. Simply because something is mainstream is not a good reason to take a position in support of it.
-Hon. Sandra Kanck. S.A. MP
I encourage everyone to read Sandra’s speech, it’s a breath of fresh air.


jsknow said...

Just goes to show you another result of drug hysteria. It's time to remove all the politicians that promote prohibition. How many more lives have to be needlessly devastated or lost? Prohibited drugs are way easier for kids to get than regulated drugs. Prohibition never works it just causes crime and violence.

The USA spends $69 billion a year on the drug war, builds 900 new prison beds and hires 150 more correction officers every two weeks, arrests someone on a drug charge every 17 seconds, jails more people than any nation and has killed over 100,000 citizens in the drug war.

In 1914 when there were no prohibited drugs 1.3% of our population was addicted to drugs, today 1.3% of our population is still addicted to drugs but there’s way more crime and violence because of the huge profits prohibition generates. Drugs today are more potent, more readily available and less expensive than they were in the early 70’s when Richard Nixon started the war on drugs. Every time you look at the news you see more and more drug busts involving bigger and bigger quantities of drugs, not less and less... doesn't that call for change?

“Jury Nullification”, learn more here: If you are called for jury duty and you don’t agree with the law the person is charged with, you have the right to vote not guilty, no matter what evidence is produced. Jurors implementing this right in all non-violent drug cases will shut down the ridiculous laws of prohibition. One juror in each case is all it takes. The bottom line is a juror has the right to judge not only the accused person but the law the person is accused of breaking. Don’t be intimidated stick to your position.

There’s only been one drug success story in history, tobacco, by far the most deadly and one of the most addictive drugs. Almost half the users quit because of regulation, accurate information and medical treatment. No one went to jail and no one got killed.

The right; to freedom of religion, free speech, a free press, to keep and bear arms, to be secure in your person, house, papers and effects against unreasonable search and seizure, to life, liberty and property, to be protected from having your property taken by the government without due process of law and without just compensation, to confront the witnesses against you, to be protected from excessive bail, excessive fines, cruel and unusual punishment, to vote and many others have been denied to millions of Americans in the name of the drug war.

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Rebekka said...

I must say though, I wondered about the idea of the treatment itself, as studies have shown that prolonged MDMA use can lead to overall reduced levels of serotonin and TPH activity, which results in less serotonin formation from tryptophan.

So if you've got unhappy people, MDMA sounds like it might be quite effective in the short term at helping them psychologically, but in the longer term might be counter-productive.

Or are they just talking about using it a couple of times in the context of psychotherapy?

Jack Dorf said...

It irks me that the SA Minister for Veterans' Affairs thinks that only Vietnam vets suffer PTS.
What about the Timor, Iraq & Afganistan vets.
Or don't they count?