Tuesday, 29 December 2009

DIARY: Christmas 2009 - The Verbose Thank You List

Merry Christmas and A Happy New year.

Thank you everyone, including you, the anti-drug zealot and prohibitionist. Yeah, even you [as “you” is looking around slightly confused].

Why am I being thanked, you’re thinking? Why would Terry Wright be thanking me and wishing me a merry Christmas?

I’m the dumb ignorant git who demands we be “Tough on Drugs” . I create ridiculous laws that ruin families and people’s lives, send non violent citizens to prison and cause so much carnage on society. I can’t be reasoned with or educated - even when confronted with scientific evidence or medical facts. Why thank me?

Isn’t it obvious why you’re being thanked?

The other day, I got home after finally finishing Christmas shopping for the year, poured a glass of fresh orange juice and prepared a shot of China White premium heroin from Burma. After cooling off, I sat down and administered 0.6 grams of heaven into my blood stream. What a great way to unwind and relax. So what the devil has this got to do with thanking anti-drug zealots, moral crusaders and brain dead politicians? Well, it is because of these nice folks that I am able to indulge in a session of opiate induced bliss. Without them, my heroin heaven would probably not be so easy or even possible. For connivence sake, let’s drop the “Christ” from Christmas and call it Xmas. Ah, that feels better says my agnostic sensibility. Back to Xmas and those who I am thanking. As I said, Thank You Very Much [in my best Rex Hunt impersonation] to the foolish lawmakers for allowing me to get heroin so easily.

More importantly, thanks to my loyal readers who are reading this now. Thanks to both of you (there were 3 readers last year). I hope you had a great Xmas, have a good break and an absolutely unbafishcalledwandalievable new year. Every blogger says they only keep writing because they enjoy it but having people actually read your website is the real reason. Not many blogs get past a year without a few readers ... or they get paid. The truth is that money and ego comes first. For me, it’s a mixture of all the factors - I enjoy it but nowhere near as much as I first did, bugger all people read my site and I don’t get paid. How’s that! I know, I know ... you’re thinking this guy must be on drugs. Why do all that work for nothing? The answer is because I have some readers who are prepared to read what I write and I must say, they are very special readers at that. So loyal reader, put your hand on your heart, take a knee and lower your head. Have someone then speak the following important gratitude from me.


There we go, I feel much better. I hope you do too.

Don’t go yet, there’s more. I really owe some big thanks to those who answered my Q and A. Kerry Wolf, Dr. James Rowe, Gino Vumbaca, The Hon. Sandra Kanck and Tony Trimingham. These guys are really busy and have extremely important roles which leaves very little time to spend on a hack website like this. I am still amazed at how willing they were to participate. Not because The Australian Heroin Diaries is important but how dedicated they are to helping others. And that’s what they really do. Forget the fancy titles and the huge role they play in society. They simply help others. The opposite of the anti-drug nutters who spend their time trying to incarcerate, penalise, deprive, alienate, convert, brainwash, belittle, marginalise and shame drug users. So Kerry, James, Gino, Sandra and Tony ... Thank you.

Oi, not yet. If you’re that restless, grab a cup of tea. There are some readers who I want to thank individually. Firesnake (Paul G), Gledwood, Editor(Michael G), Bron, KatD, THR, Roguevert etc. Also those who have listed The Australian Heroin Diaries on their website - Australian Drug Blog, Mina, Sails of Oblivion, Methadone Pretty, The Partisan, Marginalutility, Ben Pobjie's Wonderful World Of Objects, Blues Therapy, Civil Tongues, From The Gingerbread House, Good, Bad, and Bogus, Inner City Trendy, A Fresh Start, Jack Dorfs World of Adventure, The Irish Needle Exchange Forum, Kings Cross Times, OzPolitik, Partisan Revue, Smelly Tongues, Tha Bastard Son, The Red Pill Survival Guide, Canadian Spades, JUNKe Life, With Just A Hint Of Mayhem etc. (Sorry if I missed you) - Thanks. Also I want to thank Zenith from A.T. Watchdog for showing us that compassion and honesty wins out over bigotry and misguided fear. Paul Gallagher from DFA Watch/Firesnake for his zest and ideas. Michael Gormly of Kings Cross Times for his passion of the truth (and his exposure of NCPIC as just another bunch of anti-drug twats). The guys and gals from the Bluelight forums for keeping the information flowing. Free Schapelle for keeping the fight up against the ridiculous jail sentence given to Schapelle Corby. And to others in a similar situation as myself; Gledwood, Noah, Sick Girl, Caty, Donna, Broken, Mina etc.

One of the biggest thrills is to have an article published or referred to. Thanks to Methadone Anonymous Forums, Canna Zine News, Bluelight, A.T. Watchdog, Addiction News, Free Schapelle, Canadian Spades, Kings Cross Times, Ask.com, JUNKe Life, Injecting Advice, New Zealand Drug Foundation, RMIT, Why We Protest, Canna Nation etc.

Not yet, just a few more. Then there’s the members of the ANCD DrugTalk and Update forums especially the administrator, Jane Shelling; Thanks to Paul Dessauer (WASUA) for the most comprehensive and factual responses you will ever read, Mike Ashton, Richard Lake, Leah McLeod - Personal Project Assistant to Dr Alex Wodak, Brian & Marion McConnell - Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform (FFDLR), Sue Miers - NOFASARD, Paul Harvey - Hepatitis C Council of NSW, Paul Gallagher, Michael Gormly - Kings Cross Times, Gary Gahan - South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Area Health Service, Steve Robinson, Jan Steele, Annie Madden - AIVL, Brian Francis - ACON, Jon Markus - AOD Student, Andy Sinclair - Western Region Health Centre, Philip Clarke, Rowdy Yates - University of Stirling, Scotland, Rob(Inn @ Six), Steve Robinson - AIVL, Piergiorgio Moro - Hepatitis C Victoria, Greg Iverson - YSAS, Peter Watney, David Helliwell, James - The Drug Blog, KAOS and of course Gino Vumbaca - Executive Director of the Australian National Council on Drugs. Also a big thank you to those who provide so much looney entertainment - Gary Christian, Herschel Baker, Jo Baxter etc from DFA and our old mate Harry Clarke.

A general thank you to some people I have not mentioned yet - Bill Bush, Dr David Caldicott, Philip Adams, Network Against Prohibition(NAP), LEAP, Dr Mal Washer, Dr. Andrew Byrne, Greg Barns, Ann Symonds, Penny Sharpe and other drug law reformists for their conviction in science and evidence based policy. Drug Free Australia (DFA) for reminding me why I write this blog. Politicians (especially The Liberal Party) for providing endless material to write about and why a “Tough on Drugs” strategy doesn't work.

And finally to anyone else I have not mentioned ... Thanks.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Czech Republic Decriminalises Heroin, Cocaine, Meth etc. for Personal Use

First Portugal, then Mexico and now The Czech Republic have decriminalised personal amounts of all illicit drugs. Effective from January 1, 2010, anyone caught with less than a nominated amount of any drug will be issued with a fine instead of a possible jail term. Although an increasing number of countries are turning a blind eye to small amounts of drugs for personal use, only a few have actually made it law. With a growing awareness to the carnage caused by the "War on Drugs" and it’s failure to even meet basic goals, many countries are re-evaluating their drug policies especially in relation to users.

One clear advantage of the new laws in The Czech Republic is that the quantity allowed before it becomes a criminal offence is higher and more realistic than other countries. There was some criticism of the recent Mexican decriminalisation laws that the limits set were not reflective of real world drug use. Looking through the quantities used by The Czech Republic, they appear to have got it fairly much right.

One interesting aspect of the new Czech decriminalisation laws is the omission of compulsory drug treatment for anyone caught wiht drugs. For too long now, the trend of sending users to treatment instead of jail has been used for politicial point scoring. Valuable and much-in-demand treatment spots are often taken by those forced into compulsory treatment programs by drug courts whether they need it or not. Most drug courts assume all drug users need treatment and forcing them into a program will be a magical cure. I must take my hat off to the Czechs for showing some common sense and being brave enough to disregard the misguided practice of forced treatment.

Govt Clarifies Rules On Possession Of Drugs
Prague Daily Monitor
December 2009

Prague, Dec 14 (CTK) - The Czech government Monday set the drug possession limits under which the possession of up to 1.5 grammes of heroin, up to one gramme of cocaine and up to two grammes of methamphetamine (pervitine) will not be punishable as of New Year.

Czechs will also be able to legally possess up to 15 grammes of marijuana, according to the Justice Ministry's proposal approved by the government Monday.

Justice Minister Daniela Kovarova drafted the proposal on the basis of the current court practice.

Kovarova told CTK that last week the authors of the proposal met experts and agreed that the limits used in the current court practice were acceptable.

Initially, the proposal allowed for the legal possession of up to two grammes of hard drugs, she said.

"The government finally decided that it would stick to the current court practice and drafted a table based on these limits," Kovarova said.

Kovarova and Interior Minister Martin Pecina were charged today with assessing the functioning of the new rules after some time.

A week ago, the government approved the list of hallucinogenic plants and mushrooms, including hemp, coca, mescaline cactus and magic mushrooms, and decided that people would be allowed to grow up to five pieces of such plants and keep 40 magic mushrooms at home.

Shortly after the list was released, Czech cacti growers voiced concern about the new government's directive which set limits to growing plants containing mescaline.

Mescaline is a type of hallucinogen which is illegal in most countries.

The growers of cacti intend to hand over a petition to the government that has been signed by 450 people already.

"Many cacti growers have been immediately criminalised with the approval of the limits set by the Justice Ministry as there are some 4000 types of cacti in the world and some of them can contain a certain amount of mescaline," the organisers of the petition which has been placed on the Internet say.

Kovarova today assured cacti growers that they would not be prosecuted.

She said that growing plants that can be used for illegal drug production is a crime under the valid penal law already.

She pointed out that the government's directives would not have a negative impact on cacti growers as cultivating cacti for scientific and botanical purposes does not harm the interests which the Penal Code protects.

She said that cacti growers could ask the Health Ministry for a permission to grow plants for scientific or botanical purposes.

The government's directive will be specified by the new Penal Code that will take effect on January 1.

The code contains a special provision on the growth of hemp and magic mushrooms.

So far, the tolerated amount of drugs in people's possession has been defined by police internal directives and it was unclear what amount of drugs in personal possession is considered an amount "larger than a small one," which is punishable by the law.

The government's directive concerns the possession of the following drugs:
Pervitine (methamphetamine) - more than two grammes
Heroin  -  more than 1.5 grammes
Cocaine  -  more than one gramme
Amphetamine  -  more than two grammes
Ecstasy  -  more than four tablets
Marijuana  -  more than 15 grammes
Hashish  -  more than five grammes
Magic mushrooms etc.  -  more than 40 pieces
LSD  -  five tablets

Related Articles:
UN vs UN - Decriminalising Drug Use and Human Rights Abuse
WA Do Not Want Tougher Cannabis Laws from 1981
Danes Consider Dutch Style Cannabis Shops
Like Lambs to the Slaughter
Mexico Decriminalises All Drugs (for small amounts) - The Start of a Trend in South America?
5 Grams of Heroin Sends You to Jail
Now We Have Proof - Decriminalising Drugs Works

Thursday, 17 December 2009

ACT Heroin Trial Revived?

The ACT and Federal governments are currently reviewing their drug policies for 2010 onwards. What’s most interesting is that the ACT is proposing once again, a trial of heroin assisted treatment (HAT) for long term drug addicts. The last attempt in 1997 had overwhelming bipartisan federal support and agreement from a majority of the states to move ahead but after continuous displays of moral panic and drug hysteria from the right wing press, little Johnny Howard vetoed the proposal. It was a sad day for Australia especially for the experts who had many years of intensive research flushed down the political loo.

Both the federal government and The ACT are calling for public input and it will be interesting to see what Kevvy will do if a heroin trial is proposed as part of their strategy. Maybe he might do what Denmark did and skip the trial altogether since there is enough evidence already that HAT is successful. Then again, most modern Christians like Kev oppose anything sensible that’s drug related. We will have to wait and see if Kev’s claim before the election to base policies on evidence, is true.

Public Input Critical To Make Drug Strategies Better
Canberra Times (page 17)
December 2009

Federal and ACT policies need a full and objective review, Brian McConnell writes.*

The ACT and Federal governments are reviewing their respective drug strategies and are seeking community input. The timing for seeking comments is unfortunate as many are in holiday mode. But if the community does not become engaged both drug strategies will just be more of the same.

That is drug overdoses, diseases and deaths; full jails; huge profits to black marketeers; more sensational headlines about “the biggest drug bust ever”, but effectively no real change.

And the vast bulk of funding going to the criminal justice system, despite evidence to the contrary that increased health and treatment provides a greater pay-off.

The ACT draft strategy 2010-2014 is generally a sound document with guiding principles that include: harm minimisation; applying evidence-based practice; and increasing access to services.

Harm minimisation is a three pillar policy adopted by all Australian governments which include supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction.

Generally it relates to the prohibition regime for illicit drugs but the ACT draft strategy applies the principle to all drugs.

Two potentially life-saving actions included in the ACT strategy are a national and local early warning system about drug purity and strength and a heroin trial.

Readers will recall that the heroin trial had been approved at a meeting of all health and police ministers in 1997, a decision that still stands. However the then prime minister John Howard vetoed the importation of the heroin necessary for the trial to be implemented.

The question of importation now needs to be put to the current Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. And given that overseas countries, which have adopted the practice of providing prescription heroin to the severely addicted, have experienced outstanding results in terms of reduced drug related crime, reduced drug use and reduced drug supply, it is questionable that a trial is necessary. Australia could follow Denmark’s lead, accept the evidence and move directly to implementation.

It is noteworthy that the ACT strategy proposes that police will have a target of increasing the number of arrests of drug providers (ie dealers). The past records show that increasingly the majority of arrests for drug offences were of consumers (ie 77 per cent in 2004-05, 82 per cent in 2005-06, and 87 per cent in 2006-07). Consumption of drugs is largely a health issue and therefore the target should include reduction of consumer arrests.

There are omissions from the ACT’s strategy that merit examination, there is correctly no mention of roadside drug testing in the strategy. There is little evidence of its cost-effectiveness, there is no base line as there is with alcohol, and the current tests are only available for a limited number of drugs that as yet, have not been shown to be the cause of significant road accidents.

The provision of “the same health services to prisoners as the general community”, although a public health and human rights issue, has not been brought forward from the previous strategy. An example is the provision of clean syringes to injecting drug-using prisoners. The facts are clear - drugs and syringes are shared in prisons and the ACT prison is no exception. The experiences in prisons in European countries with syringe exchange programs have been positive and free of major problems.

The objection to the program appears to come from the prison officers who fear that syringes could be used as weapons, stating the case of a prison officer in a NSW jail who was stabbed by an infected syringe by a mentally ill prisoner. The officer died as a result. But note that this happened even though syringes were banned. For prison officers, this is an unrecognised OHS issue. With controlled provision, officers would be safer knowing where every syringe was and that they were uncontaminated.

The most significant item missing from the strategy is a full and thorough evaluation of illegal drug policies, policies that have given rise to most of the problems we experience with illicit drugs.

Regulated and controlled, the black market and other problems would reduce significantly.

Most recently David Weisbrot former head of Australian Law Reform Commission had this to say about treatment of drugs:

“I think the war on drugs, using that kind of military approach and policing approach, has really failed communities all around the world, and you can see the fallout from it, not only in the statistics of people who have died, or had serious health ailments from their drug use, but also the way it's distorted the criminal justice system and ravaged many of our communities.”

No one’s family is immune from the ravages of drugs. Holiday mode or not, now is the time to become engaged and insist that a full and objective review of drug policies be included in both strategies.

Brian McConnell is President of Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform

Related Articles:
The Start of Prescription Heroin in Australia?
Survey: Heroin Trials in Australia
Who Supports a Heroin Trial?
UK Heroin Trials - Another Win For Prescription Heroin
Canada Provides the Final Proof Needed for Heroin Assisted Treatment
Germany Passes Prescription Heroin into Law
What Does Prescription Heroin Really Mean for Junkies?

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Goods News About Hepatitis C

It seems there’s good news everywhere in the fight against Hep C. Firstly, the US congress has voted to lift the federal ban on funding syringe exchange programs after 21 years. Secondly, there has been some major breakthroughs for scientists in their search for an effective Hep C treatment. Two Australian researchers are responsible for one of the discoveries.

AIDS Activists Cheer End to Ban on Needle Exchange Funding
By Susan Sharon

After two decades, Congress has voted to lift a ban on federal funding of needle exchange programs. AIDS activists are cheering the move, which they say legitimizes needle exchange as a weapon in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

For years, needle exchange programs in three dozen states have provided clean needles to intravenous drug users as a way to reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. But the programs have relied solely on state and local funding because of a longtime ban at the federal level, where some have regarded needle exchange as an incentive for drug addicts to continue to use.

"People have been afraid that this is going to conflict with some sort of zero tolerance policy," says Bill McColl, who is with the Washington D.C.-based advocacy group AIDS Action. He says the vote to lift the ban is a vote for science over outdated stereotypes.

"There are eight federal reports that show that syringe exchange will decrease HIV and Hepatitis," he says. "It doesn't increase substance abuse. You know, this is a real opportunity to do some serious outreach to a population that is often overlooked."

In some places, such as Maine, needle exchange rates have been on the rise. At the Eastern Maine AIDS Network, for example, about 4,000 dirty needles are swapped out for clean ones every month. Just three years ago, only 300 clean needles were given out monthly.

Observers credit a new director with effective outreach. But Maine has also had an increase in IV drug use. And Andrew Bossie of the Maine AIDS Alliance says that's why federal funding for needle exchange is so important -- as many as 12 percent of people being infected with HIV are getting infected by injecting drugs.

"So we're really very happy that the U.S. House and Senate have lifted this ban and that we're on our way to more sound policies that prevent the spread of HIV."

Though it's a rural state, Maine has four needle exchange programs which Bossie says are all facing funding problems. Around the country there are about 200. President Obama has previously expressed support for liftting the ban on federal funding of needle exchange as a way to reduce rates of infection.

And while his expected signing of the bill later this month won't guarantee programs get additional funding, activists say it could give more options to those affected by state and local budget cuts.

Liver-Targeted Drug Stops Hepatitis C
Durable DNA Molecule Blocks Hepatitis C Virus in Chimp Study
By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health News
Dec 2009

Hepatitis C virus can't get a grip on the livers of chimps treated with a new antisense DNA drug.

The drug, dubbed SPC3649, doesn't attack the hepatitis C virus (HCV) itself. Instead, it blocks the tiny RNA molecules in the liver -- microRNA-122 or miR-122 -- that the virus must use to make new copies of itself. HVC causes disease only when it can replicate to high liver concentrations.

HCV levels drop 350-fold in chimps treated with SPC3649, find Robert E. Lanford, PhD, of San Antonio's Southwest foundation for Biomedical Research and colleagues.

"The drug worked exceptionally well in treating HCV infections in chimpanzees," Lanford said in a news release. In an email to WebMD he said, "We were very excited with the outcome."

The researchers studied four chimps chronically infected with HCV genotype 1, the most common HCV strain in the Americas and Australia. It's also the most treatment-resistant HCV strain.

Two chimps got a low dose of SPC3649, and two got a high dose, given once a week for 12 weeks. The higher-dose treatment was remarkably effective in suppressing HCV. The lower dose showed a strong but lesser effect in one chimp, but not in the other.

As long as the animals stayed on the drug -- and for two weeks after treatment stopped -- HCV levels remained low. But after treatment ended, HCV levels eventually rebounded to pretreatment levels.

Treatment, however, made the virus much more sensitive to the antiviral effects of interferon. Interferon, combined with ribavirin, is the best current treatment for HCV, but only about half of people infected with genotype 1 HCV get long lasting control of the virus. It's hoped that SPC3649 could eventually be combined with interferon to give the virus a knockout punch.

SPC3649 targets miR-122 in the liver, where it plays a role in cholesterol metabolism. The only side effect seen in the chimps was a rather dramatic lowering of LDL (bad) cholesterol. In earlier studies with green monkeys, the drug had a stronger effect on HDL (good) cholesterol. That would not be a good thing if it happens in humans, but SPC3649 affects cholesterol differently in different primate species.

"I suspect that at some point lowering HDL too much would be a problem if you did not lower LDL at the same time," Lanford said in his email. "I do not suspect that this will be a limitation of this drug, but human clinical trial data are needed to address this issue."

That data is on the way. The drug's manufacturer, Santaris Pharma of Hoersholm, Denmark, has begun a phase 1 safety trial in HCV patients. Santaris funded the Lanford study and Santaris researchers contributed to the work.

Beyond HCV: LNA Drugs vs. Cancer, Inflammation, More
SPC3649 is actually a man-made strand of nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA and RNA. The drug is actually an antisense nucleotide, meaning that it is assembled in a way that makes it complementary to its RNA target.

Antisense nucleotides inactivate their targets. But normal nucleotides quickly break down in the bloodstream. SPC3649 uses a proprietary technology to lock it together so that it does not break down. Santaris calls this a "locked nucleic acid (LNA)-modified oligonucleotide."

The LNA technology is not unique to SPC3649. Santaris has used the technology to create LNA drugs for cancer, inflammatory diseases, metabolic diseases, and rare genetic disorders. These drugs are in various stages of preclinical and clinical development with various partner companies.

The Lanford study was published online in the Dec. 3 issue of Science Express.

Aussies Aid Hepatitis C 'Breakthrough'
Sep 2009

An Australian-led team of international medical researchers may have scored an important breakthrough in the treatment of hepatitis C.

The team, led by Sydney molecular geneticist David Booth and Sydney University hepatitis C expert Jacob George, has identified a variant in an interferon gene which links it to the treatment of the chronic hepatitis C virus (HVC).

The gene, known as IL28B, was found to encode an interferon "lambda" involved with the suppression of viruses, including HCV.

Interferons, or proteins inhibiting the replication of viruses, are identified through the use of letters from the Greek alphabet.

The researchers said the new study showed use of the interferon-lambda in treatment could benefit those people identified as best suited to receive it and spare others the cost and side effects of their current treatments.

Prof George said the current standard treatment procedure for chronic HCV was combined therapy with pegylated interferon-alpha and ribavirin for about 11 months.

"This treatment can have side effects and only about 40 to 50 per cent of individuals infected with HCV show a positive response to it," Prof George said.

"The current study renews interest in therapies which involve this type of interferon, and suggest that combined treatment with interferon-alpha and interferon-lambda may prove a more effective treatment."

Dr Booth, a molecular geneticist with Westmead Millennium Institute who is widely recognised for his work with multiple sclerosis and genes that cause autoimmune disease, said the same principles applied to hepatitis C infection as to MS.

"We inherit from our parents subtle differences in the make-up of our immune system that can make a major difference in susceptibility to disease or how we respond to treatment," he said.

"Finding each of the few genes that have such an impact gives science an edge in the eventual prevention or control of many of the major diseases of humankind."

He said the finding that inherited differences in the interferon lambda gene has such an impact on the treatment of Hep C provided a valuable new lead into beating "an infection of epidemic proportion worldwide".

Almost 300 million people are known to have been infected with hepatitis C, which is a leading cause of liver disease.

Results of the study into interferon IL28B were published on Sunday's Nature Genetics website.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Drug Reporting in the MSM - They Just Get Sillier and Sillier

I’m sure this article is joke. It must be because no editor could ever let this out without risking their job and reputation ... unless you work for News Corp. The article starts with dire warnings of “significant side effects” and deadly consequences but when the side effects are listed we are faced with nothing more than minimal drug reactions. Talk about a let down.

Police Warn Of Dangerous BZP Passed As Ecstasy
December 2009

POLICE are warning about a batch of dangerous drugs that may be in circulation in WA being sold as ecstasy.

The Serious and Organised Crime Squad has received an analysis of the recent 14 kg pill seizure identififying them as Benzylpiperazine or BZP -- not as MDMA or ecstasy tablets.

Detectives believe that it is not uncommon for illicit drug suppliers to pass off BZMP as MDMA, as their appearance is similar and the drugs possess similar properties.

Like MDMA, BZP also has significant side effects and can prove deadly in certain circumstances.

Side effects include: Increased heart rate; dilation of pupils; nausea; flushing; dry mouth; urinary incontinence.

These specific pills have been branded with the Nike “tick” and Apple Mac logos.

Anyone with information regarding the location of other pills matching this description is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

So where did the author of the article come up with this line:
Like MDMA, BZP also has significant side effects and can prove deadly in certain circumstances
It sounds serious. That is until you read the side effects. Dry mouth? Dilation of pupils? Are they serious? Flushing and increased heart rate? Nausea ... urinary incontinence? It sounds more like drinking too much coffee than a dangerous drug.

And what the hell is urinary incontinence? I think they mean urinary retention which is a known side effect.

BZP is actually legal in many countries including the UK. Although most governments are looking to ban BZP, it can still be bought over the counter in shops with less restrictions than a packet of cigarettes or a bottle of wine. Any sensible government would research the drug thoroughly and keep it legal under regulations that reflect the associated harms. Interestingly, if we base the restrictions on the related harm, it would then be easier to buy than booze. But booze aside, regulations could entail restrictions to children under 18, a prescription from a doctor and a price that would undercut illegal dealers. Of course the quality would be of pharmaceutical grade which would entice the vast majority of users away from the black market. Anyone who is hell bent on taking the drug would now have to visit a doctor first for a prescription where they could be educated about the harms involved. A practice that isn’t performed by the local drug dealer waiting at the train station.

Reader Comments from PerthNow:
Go for it kiddies - did the guys that sold it too you tell you that a side effect is urinary incontinence? I didn't think so. LOL.
-Crackers of Freo

I love it when a joke backfires on a smartarse. Urinary incontinence is NOT a side effect of BZP. They article made a mistake and meant to write urinary retention.

I say flood the markets with these drugs. If these braindead losers want to pop these pills, then let them all suffer the consequences. When all of the addicts go belly up, then all the demand for these stupid things will dry up. Problem solved.
-Charles Darwin of Evolutionville

Easy way to deal with drugs addicts is for the government to give free 100% pure crap away and let them all die. No hassles, no worries ...
-millsy of perth

Ah, the humanity in the Murdoch press. If the drugs were pure then deaths would be averted.

What's that white stuff you get around your battery's terminals? PbSO4 if my high school chemistry doesn't fail me...
-Charles Darwin's mate of Same place

Of course, drug dealers spend hours each day looking for a tiny bit of acid that builds up around a car battery. Then they wonder why all their clients never come back.

I'm glad you're not my friend of bizarre logic - its called harm minimisation, because most people recognise that JUST SAY NO doesnt work, because beleive it or not, people take drugs.. millsy of perth - pure drugs dont kill people, its the crap they put in them, and examples like this where they "substitute" one drug for another that makes it "more" dangerous for the user.. People will do drugs, sayin they all should die etc. just show the intelligence level (or lack of) of the people making those comments Charles Darwin of Evolutionville - what if one of these "braindead losers " was one of your family, like a son or a daughter, would you want them to go belly up too?? Disgusting comment
-Matt R of Melbourne

Finally some sense.

Matt R of Melbourne - I dont have any braindead losers in my family that take drugs. Myself and all of my family are well educated and mentally sound that we don't feel the ridiculous need or braindead desire to take drugs. Not only is taking drugs dangerous, but its also against the law. All you drug taking braindead losers out there clearly have no respect for yourselves, others or the law. So feel free to pop away and go belly up. Society neither wants nor needs you.
-Charles Darwin of Evolutionville

Yes, the law stops most users of illegal drugs. pffft. But since booze is legal, it’s alright to get paralytic drunk and become one of the 3000 drinkers who die each year from alcohol.

Hahaha, if idiots are stupid enough to pop pills in the first place let them all overdose and die for their own stupid mistakes and stop wasting tax payers money on police squads trying to stop them!
-chris2pher of Adelaide

More humanity in the Murdoch press. Maybe they wouldn’t die if we stop wasting tax payers money on police squads trying to stop them.

...And as for the prohibition argument, those events occurred almost 100 years ago, so its completely invalid for todays society. And the same clown also stated that [recreational] drugs are safer and not addicive and cause very few problems for society. Are you serious???? Please tell me that you don't honestly believe that crap you just wrote. Not addicitive? Dont make me laugh. Safe? Laughing still. And very few problems for society? LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!
-Charles Darwin of Evolutionville

Because an event occurred almost 100 years ago, its completely invalid for today's society? Say no more.

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Friday, 4 December 2009

SA Police Minister - Drug Dogs Massive Success (LMAO)

It’s bizarre that we hear about so much success at getting drugs off the streets when in reality about 90% slip through the net. Have you ever looked closely at the figures put out when a so called successful operation is bandied about? A recent media release from the South Australian Police Minister, Michael Wright is a prime example of under achievement being dressed up as some sort of success.

Hon Michael Wright Minister for Police Minister for Emergency Services Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing

Friday, 6 November 2009
Police Dogs Detect Over 1000 Ecstasy Pills In 12 Months

Passive Alert Drug Detection Dogs have sniffed out a cocktail of illicit drugs and paraphernalia during their first year on the beat in South Australia.

Police Minister, Michael Wright, said, “The three highly trained canines and their handlers have achieved remarkable results in a short period of time and they should be commended for their commitment to disrupting drug taking and dealing on our streets.”

Since new legislation was introduced in October last year the PADD dogs have been deployed on 193 occasions. They’ve sniffed out in total:

1090 Ecstasy tablets, 4 LSD tablets, 1.58 kilograms of cannabis, 17 grams of amphetamine, 6 grams of ketamine, 3 grams of cocaine, 15mls GHB 21 pieces of drug paraphernalia including an ice pipe and cocaine kit.

Along with these detections, 31 people were arrested, 310 reported and 189 referred to drug diversions with 2 arrested for hindering police.

“This should serve as a stern warning to anyone considering taking or carrying drugs in and around entertainment venues and events that they’ll end up feeling the bite.”

The PADD dogs have also been deployed to ‘dance music’ concerts at Bonython Park and the ‘Big Day Out’ concert at Wayville. Country deployments have included Mt. Gambier, Naracoorte, Renmark, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Ceduna and Victor Harbor during ‘Schoolies Week’.

They’ve been on the beat several times at the Adelaide airport passenger terminal and railway stations at Noarlunga, Adelaide, Keswick, Salisbury and Elizabeth.

The dogs have also played a major role in patrolling the State’s known drug transit routes including National Highway One, Port Wakefield, the Mallee Highway, Pinnaroo, Sturt Highway, Blanchetown, Dukes Highway, Keith, Princes Highway, Monteith and Stuart Highway, Glendambo and Marla.

These dogs are playing an important part in the Government’s attack on the illegal drug trade. Other steps taken have included;

• Banning the equipment used in the manufacture of illicit drugs
• Trebling the expiation penalties for possession of cannabis
• Banning the sale of drug paraphernalia
• Introducing tough new Hydroponics laws to crackdown on the cultivation of hydroponically grown cannabis

The Rann Government’s stance on illicit drugs is vastly different from that of Opposition Leader, Isobel Redmond.

Last year Ms Redmond, during a debate on the Drug Paraphernalia Bill, supported an amendment that would have effectively saved the bong and made the legislation pointless. It would have seen drug paraphernalia continue to be freely available in South Australia

On 10 December 2006, Mrs Redmond said in a TV interview: “I mean certainly the information is that ecstasy doesn’t seem to be as big a risk as a number of other drugs.”

Minster Wright said, “We will continue to toughen the laws and give our police whatever they need to tackle the illegal drug trade in this State, and that includes all illicit substances.”

I find the comments of politicians and some police fascinating at times especially the tough talk when an operation bombs. When is someone in power finally going to say, “This is pointless. We are not even making a dent in the black market for drugs. We need a new approach.”
The three highly trained canines and their handlers have achieved remarkable results in a short period of time and they should be commended for their commitment to disrupting drug taking and dealing on our streets
-The Hon Michael Wright - Police Minister

I’m sorry Michael but “remarkable results” means more than just 3 ecstasy pills a day or 4 LSD tablets for a whole year. Also, 6 grams of ketamine, 3 grams of cocaine and 15mls of GBH over 12 months is not worth celebrating. Even 1.58 kilograms of cannabis is lousy. What I don’t understand though is the so called “success” from confiscating 21 pieces of drug paraphernalia including an ice pipe and a cocaine kit. You have most likely sentenced someone to a slow agonising death from HIV/AIDS. Good work, Michael.
This should serve as a stern warning to anyone considering taking or carrying drugs in and around entertainment venues and events that they’ll end up feeling the bite.
-The Hon Michael Wright - Police Minister

Your successful hounds went out 193 times costing us at least half a million dollars while shifting scarce police resources away from where they are really needed. If these sniffer dogs were used at customs or the airport to find explosives, dangerous chemicals or exotic wildlife then the cost can be justified but hassling commuters at train stations and trouble free patrons of dance clubs is just a huge waste of money and resources.
His research revealed that 74% of those searched following an indication by a dog were found not to be in possession of illegal drugs.
-The Privacy Ombudsman of New South Wales

But credit should be given when it’s due so congratulations for arresting 31 people and reporting 310 others. Yipeeee! I feel a lot safer knowing that 31 dangerous thugs are getting a permanent criminal record. But there’s more congratulations. 189 users are off to treatment to rectify their immoral and evil ways. Michael, you know that drug diversion doesn’t work unless they actually have a drug problem? And if they do, they must be ready to be treated. You know this ... right? You know they take up the hard-to-find places usually needed by those who are genuinely seeking treatment? Right?

We need to be honest and direct here. The claims of success from the police minister, on many levels, are decietful and even dangerous. The sniffer dogs are expensive, invasive and have not achieved any notable success over the last 12 months. Normal, everyday South Australians are getting permanent criminal records or being sent for drug treatment which they don’t need. Prohibiting safety equipment like commercially made bongs and cocaine/ice kits increases the harm to drug users including the spread of HIV/AIDS and Hep C. Incidentally these diseases often cross over into the general public and can kill people. I fail to see how this is “success”?

To top it off, this so called media release cranks up the political spin machine by criticising opposition leader, Isobel Redmond for being pragmatic and telling the truth. Not supporting a dangerous and irresponsible proposal to ban drug paraphernalia because it would lead to more sickness and death overrides the lame excuse, “It would have seen drug paraphernalia continue to be freely available in South Australia”.
I mean certainly the information is that ecstasy doesn’t seem to be as big a risk as a number of other drugs.
-Opposition Leader - Isobel Redmond

Attempting to embarrass Isobel Redmond by rehashing a quote from 2006 is downright disgraceful. Why is it disgraceful? Because she is correct and telling the truth. Playing on the public’s fear and ignorance is so typical of today’s politician when it comes to drugs but attempting to discredit someone for being truthful is as low as it gets. This dig at Isobel Redmond is reminiscent of how the SA parliament treated the Hon. Sandra Kanck. Sandra was a sucker for the facts which drove anti-drug nutters like the SA Attorney General, Michael Atkinson and local independent, Anne Bressington into a frenzy. For Atkinson, Bressington, Wright, Rann etc., it’s impossible to have a good drug policy when the facts keep getting in the way.

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