Monday, 30 November 2009

WHAT?!!! ... Another Dickhead Lib from WA

This is getting monotonous! As I was reading through the Kings Cross Times, I discovered yet another idiotic comment from a WA Liberal Party politician. The Hon. Nick Goiran MLC, member for the South Metropolitan Region has replied to a letter from a concerned citizen about the proposed legislation to repeal the Cannabis Control Act 2003. Whilst reading the reply, I couldn’t help but wonder if this guy actually knew what he was writing about. Apart from sounding like a media release, I realised that every point he raised was untrue. How could such a thing happen in 2009? Was he fabricating the whole letter or simply so stupid, he didn’t know any better? Either way, it’s another clear example of how so many public officials are not fit to hold office and represent the people.

Reply from WA politician Hon Nick Goiran MLC to a letter re repeal of the Cannabis Control Act 2003:

21 October 2009

Dear Mr X


Thank you for your letter regarding Premier Colin Barnett's announcement to introduce legislation to repeal the Cannabis Control Act 2003.

The State Government recognises that illicit drug use is a significant problem which affects the lives of users, their families, friends and the wider WA community and cannabis-related legislation is sending a clear anti-drugs message to the community.

Research shows that cannabis use can lead to a mass of health and mental health problems including respiratory problems and cancer risk, abnormalities in reproductive functioning and schizophrenia.
Drugs are an insidious threat to the fabric of our society. l have personally seen how people are enslaved, threatened and exploited because of drug debts and addiction. Illegal drugs ruin lives, shatter families and can create a downfall on our community foundation. We should seek to protect our fellow West Australians and these initiatives will crackdown on the plague of illicit drugs in our State.

From what you have written, you support a policy of 'Harm Minimisation'- a strategy to ameliorate the adverse consequences of drug use while drug use continues. I firmly believe that harm minimisation strategies communicate a message condoning drug use, a message I do not espouse. Furthermore, in my view harm minimisation strategies have been an abject failure.

Accordingly, l strongly support the Premier's announcement and the use of criminal law to deter drug use and look forward to voting in favour of the proposed legislation.

Yours sincerely

Hon Nick Goiran MLC

Member for the South Metropolitan Region

The letter opens with the standard claim that they are sending a message to the community that drugs are dangerous. Only those who are already anti-drugs ever take notice of an anti-drugs message e.g. parents, anti-drug groups, fellow politicians and moral crusaders. To the rest of us, the message is clear ... more wasted money, more useless dribble and more mindless policies.

Goiran then explains to Mr X that research has shown that cannabis use can lead to a “mass” of health and mental health problems. They include respiratory problems and cancer risk, abnormalities in reproductive functioning and schizophrenia. Not a whole lot of problems compared to other dangerous drugs like alcohol or crack. Where’s the addiction, damage to vital organs, psychosis, overdose and death? The listed problems reek like an extract from a NCPIC brochure or a Daily Telegraph article that exagerate the effects using worst case scenarios. The letter conveniently ignores the fact that most cannabis users are very moderate users and rarely have cannabis health problems.

The list of health and mental health problems:

Respiratory problems: Hasn’t Nick heard of vaporisers or consuming something orally? As for the average cannabis smoker who maybe smokes a few times a week, the intake of smoke is tiny.

Cancer risk: I assume that Nick means Lung cancer? I say that because cannabis is showing that it actual helps prevent some cancers.
A major 2006 study compared the effects of tobacco and Cannabis smoke on the lungs. The outcome of the study showed that even very heavy cannabis smokers "do not appear to be at increased risk of developing lung cancer," while the same study showed a twenty-fold increase in lung cancer risk for tobacco smokers who smoked two or more packs of tobacco cigarettes a day. It is known that Cannabis smoke, like all smoke, contains carcinogens and thus has a probability of triggering lung cancer. THC, unlike nicotine, is thought to "encourage aging cells to die earlier and therefore be less likely to undergo cancerous transformation."

Abnormalities in reproductive functioning:
The effects of cannabis on reproductive functioning are uncertain. The claim that cannabis impairs male and female reproductive functioning in humans has very little support in the scientific world. Although it is wise for pregnant women to abstain from using most drugs, the bulk of scientific evidence indicates that cannabis has very few adverse effects on the developing fetus.

Schizophrenia: Sorry Nick but cannabis doesn’t usually cause schizophrenia for the average user but might bring it on in those who have a family history of mental illness. The police would have to stop 40,000 average cannabis users from ever using again to prevent one case of schizophrenia in those who have no links to the illness.

Following on, Goiran explains that “drugs are an insidious threat to the fabric of our society” and claims he has observed for himself “how people are enslaved, threatened and exploited because of drug debts and addiction”. What he leaves out is that the proposed laws will only make matters worse. But annoying things like facts are not a problem for Goiran and he proudly declares that “I strongly support the Premier's announcement and the use of criminal law to deter drug use”. In one sentence, Goiran dismisses years of careful research and precise scientific studies and overrides it with his own Drugs are Bad, mmkay stupidity.

If there is any doubt left that the Hon. Nick Goiran is as thick as Colin Barnett’s forehead, then this statement will remove all doubt:
Furthermore, in my view harm minimisation strategies have been an abject failure
-The Hon. Nick Goiran MLC

It may only be his view but this man is supposed to represent the public. Making ridiculous comments like this is unacceptable and just further proof that Western Australia is packed with Liberal Party dickheads. And I mean dickheads of the highest degree. Harm Minimisation saves thousands of lives and gives hope and some much needed respect to those who have a drug problem. It’s success has been hailed around the world as more and more countries adopt it as official drug policy. I would love to know why it has failed? Stating that “I firmly believe that harm minimisation strategies communicate a message condoning drug use” might help explain Goiran’s logic or lack thereof. Not being able to understand the subtlety between condoning drug use and accepting the reality that people have and always will use drugs regardless of laws, highlights serious incompetence for someone in Goiran’s position. In fact, it’s a disgrace. If Nick Goiran was employed by the private sector, he would promptly be sacked and his reputation shredded. If ever a wrong message was being sent to our kids then this is it - the facts aren’t important for political decisions. The WA Libs have a history of pumping out anti-drug rhetoric which is always void of the truth and evidence. From ‘Dippy’ Donna Faragher to Luke Simpkins, from Christian Porter to the Premier himself, the spin is thick and the bullshit aplenty.

I can understand how some governments might overlook scientific research and evidence but to make contrary claims by lying is abhorrent. Remember British scientist, Prof. David Nutt who was sacked as head of the UK government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) for telling the truth? The furore that followed had many hammering the government for ignoring scientific evidence about drugs and instead using the drug scheduling list for political means. The UK government reclassified cannabis from a class C drug back up to class B citing potency and mental health problems as the main reasons. The problem was, the ACMD had researched these issues and found them to have little effect on the nation and that harsher laws would be no deterrent at all. Does all this sound familiar? Maybe like Colin Barnett repealing the state’s cannabis laws for dubious, political reasons? Watch the clip below and note how many lies are told by Barnett which are then debunked by a medical expert.

How could someone stare into a camera and just blurt out so much crap? Surely they know that any claims can be checked by viewers within minutes? Any normal person would cringe and then apologise for being so arrogant and uninformed but the Barney Rubble look-a-like just marches on like a lobotomised lemming. A comedy writer could have a field day with this - a cross between Yes Minister, The Office, The Hollowmen and The Flintstones.

The days are over where we took for granted what an elected government told us. It ended when modern conservatives like neocons and the rabid right took power in the 1970s to the 1990s. They believe it’s okay to lie to the people if it’s in their best interest and helps achieve the government’s agenda. But those policies based on Game Theory didn’t factor in the internet giving access to so much factual information. Are Barnett and co. so delusional that they still believe the public will accept their views as gospel if they lie? Or are they just luddites that got lucky?

The Kings Cross Times that originally printed the letter from Nick Goiran also mentioned that a mystery female WA Liberal MP and a cohort were rude to retired Seattle police commissioner Dr Norm Stamper, who was visiting Australia for a series of speeches on drug prohibition. An article by Dr Stamper in the Huffington Post wrote about being ambushed by this mystery MP before even walking through the front door for a prearranged meeting. According to Dr Stamper, he was berated and talked down to while the MP and cohort continually interrupted to “educate” him about how dangerous he was to Western Australia. Imagine what Dr Stamper thought when some rabid right-wing redneck was telling him, a retired police commissioner and ex drug cop, about the drug situation and how wrong he is. Hmph! Those crazy WA Libs!

Some final questions: I wonder what Dr Mal Washer, the Liberal MP for Moore, thinks of all this? After all, he is one of the Co-Chairs of the Australian Parliamentary Group for Drug Law Reform. I wonder if all the WA Libs think the same way? The whole party can’t be that stupid ... can they? And finally: how are tougher cannabis laws going to reduce the state’s drug problem. Only 3% of cannabis users come in contact with the law and we know that harsher penalties doesn’t deter drug use. Why don’t the WA Libs comprehend this when the rest of the world are wising up?

Related Articles:
Cannabis/Schizophrenia Link 'Minimal' -- UK Study
WA Do Not Want Tougher Cannabis Laws from 1981
The Final Proof - Colin Barnett is a Dickhead
Do Dickhead Politicians Grow on Trees in WA?
Drug Bins in WA Brings Out the Nutters
The Liberal Party on Drugs
WA Liberals - Drug Policy Blues
WA Liberals Become Even Sillier


Michael said...

Hi terry, nice post. You've probably seen this but there was a big british study that cast doubt on any link between cannabis and schizophrenia. I wrote a news story about it a while ago.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Michael

I have read the study from Keele Uni. and quote it as often as I can. It's a great argument for debunking much of the cannabis/schizophrenia hysteria.

I checked out your site and loved it. It reminds me of the site called Bad Science written by Ben Goldacre (The Guardian). I'm surprised though your blog is not overflowing with articles about : )

Thanks again.

BTW, I have added your site to my blog list.

Anonymous said...

Good job there Terry,
He looks too young to be hanging out with those other flabby old prohibitionists. I'm disappointed that this fellow is so blind to the spin of his political party that he can't think for himself.

The party of sheep!! Baaah

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Anon.


You're right. It seems all WA Libs think the same and are too stupid to spend 5 minutes researching the subject.