Friday, 19 February 2010

Bucket Head of the Year Awards - 2009

In the ever evolving world of drug policy and treatment, there does remain one constant ... a continuous parade of murky politicians, selfish moralists and dubious opinion writers who share a common goal to demonise drug users at any cost. Any attempt to be sensible and pragmatic about drug use or drug treatment is abhorred by these people and they will go to great lengths to undermine these efforts. In the process, logic and reality is counteracted with carefully constructed propaganda, junk science and claims of moral decay. The problem is that the truth is not on their side and cracks will appear which may expose some farcical and often humorous attempts to appear legitimate. These are serious issues and the anti-drug zealots cause much pain, suffering and death but the sheer absurdities of their actions need to be highlighted. What better way to recognise their actions than to nominate them for an award. 

Sadly, some of the better known Bucket Heads were quiet over the last 12 months. Piers Akerhead, Fred Nile and last year’s winner, Anne Bressington were surprisingly reserved and dearly missed. Western Australia though was alive and well with Bucket Heads galore. And we had some great input from The Liberal Party with new Bucket Heads stepping up and making us proud. So without further ado, let me introduce to you, the second annual edition of The Australian Heroin Diaries - Bucket Head of the Year Awards - 2009.
NOTE: These awards are from an Australian perspective and are based on issues involving drug policy and drug treatment. Many nominees are probably guilty of various other deeds but these awards are for drug related issues. I assume I have left out many candidates and events so feel free to add your nominations. These are my personal opinions and if I have upset anyone, I am sorry. If you don't want to be involved in these awards ... don't give me a reason to nominate you.

Mass executions for International Drug Day [link]

Runners Up:

SE Asia
Death penalty for drug trafficking

No Methadone Maintenance Treatment(MMT)

Push for Mandatory Sentencing of Drug Crimes (Bill C-15) [link]

Foundation For A Drug Free World (FDFW)
QUOTE: They Lied - Find Out The Truth About Drugs 
(Ironically, FDFW are the most infamous group in the world known for lying about drugs - They are also part of the Scientology cult )  [link]

Runners Up:

Drug Free America Foundation (DFAF) 
QUOTE: Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. is a drug prevention and policy organization committed to developing, promoting and sustaining global strategies, policies and laws that will reduce illegal drug use, drug addiction, drug-related injury and death. (Not one goal has ever been met but actually increased) [link

The World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) 
QUOTE: The WFAD recognizes that civil society has the right to fact-based information about the risks and damage caused by drugs. All people have the right to be protected from the harms created by drug use. ( The so called “facts” put forward by WFAD are infamous for being exaggerated or simply not true. By far, the main harm to people from drug use has been due to the laws not from the drugs themselves) [link]

EURAD (Europe Against Drugs)
QUOTE: Drugs are illegal because they are dangerous; they are not dangerous because they are illegal. (This was taken from the slogan, Drugs are not illegal because they are dangerous; they are dangerous because they are illegal)

Drug Free Australia (DFA)
What can you say about an organisation that supports drug testing at work and school, shutting down MSIC, removing Harm Minimisation as our national drug policy, stopping needle exchanges, cutting back heavily on Opiate Maintenance Treatment(OMT) e.g. methadone, buprenorphine etc, tougher penalties for drug users, compulsory rehab etc. 

Runners Up:

National Cannabis Prevention And Information Centre (NCPIC) [link]
NCPIC started out by claiming to give proper, evidence based information on cannabis. Maybe it was their name that gave it away but soon they just became another anti-cannabis mouth piece mainly due to the choice of Dr. Jan Copeland as Director.  Dr Copeland is a very enthusiastic supporter of prohibition and a keen advocate of measures such as drug testing and drug treatment of – as she has it – cannabis addicts. Dr Copeland spends a lot of time and energy travelling the world to address conferences, spreading the prohibition message.

Drug Free Ambassadors (Australia) [link]
The Drug Free Ambassadors is a drug prevention program sponsored by the Church of Scientology

Familyvoice Australia (Festival Of Light) [link]
FamilyVoice Australia made several submissions to government enquiries, pushing for an end to harm minimisation. Citing the Standing Committee on Family and Community Affairs report from 2003 titled, The Road to Recovery and the heavily criticised, The Bishop Report: “The Winnable War on Drugs” from 2007, FamilyVoice Australia decried needle exchanges, methadone, MSIC, a heroin trial etc. Basically, all the strategies that work. [link 1] [link 2]

Judy Sheindlin
Judge Judy
Judge Judy and Cary Quashen during a debate claimed there are growing cases of “Marijuana Babies” being born addicted to pot.  [link]

Runners Up:

Herschel Baker
Drug Free Australia (DFA)
“The only reason that the death rate from illicit drugs is lower than that caused by alcohol abuse is that such drugs are illegal. Our current system of drug prohibition actually saves thousands of lives and billions of dollars in economic resources.” [link]

Luke Simpkin MP
The Liberal Party
“I would certainly like to endorse the permanent removal of children from drug-addicted parents. I would also like to endorse restrictions on methadone programs and the absolute elimination of funding for harm minimisation programs or harm minimisation publications. I believe that these are important steps forward to address the drug situation in this country.”

Sophie Mirabella MP
The Liberal Party
“Despite declaring a pre-election “war on drugs” in 2007, the Rudd Government has largely abandoned the “Tough on Drugs” initiative that was so successful under the Howard Government.”

Colin Barnett
Premier of WA (LP)

Runners Up:

• Sophie Mirabella (LP)
• Jamie Briggs (LP)
• Christian Porter (LP) 

The Federal Coalition
Taking up the recommendations in the The Bishop Report: “The Winnable War on Drugs” - 

Runners Up:

Australian Labor Party
Jenny Macklin MP
National rollout of compulsory income quarantining for welfare recipients 

The Liberal Party
Luke Simpkin MP
Taking up the recommendations in the The Bishop Report: “The Winnable War on Drugs”  [link]

In March, 2009 during a House debate, Luke Simpkin MP, canned harm minimisation and called for a policy of “Harm Prevention” better known as Zero Tolerance. He suggested taking up the recommendations of The Bishop Report: “The Winnable War on Drugs”. Here are some of his quotes:
-”I would certainly like to endorse the permanent removal of children from drug-addicted parents”
-”I would also like to endorse restrictions on methadone programs and the absolute illumination of funding for harm minimisation programs or harm minimisation publications”
-”but in the case of illicit drugs I think the hard line needs to be taken of harm prevention and never harm minimisation or harm reduction—or, otherwise, surrender to the scourge of illicit drugs”

The Liberal Party
Lawrence Springborg
Increasing drug related penalties to lower ambulance call out rates.

To counteract the increase in drug related ambulance call outs, Queensland Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg suggested the government just get tougher on drugs. [link]
"We've known for years that Queensland is the amphetamine capital of Australia and these figures show the problem is getting worse and yet this government has sat on its hands. We need zero tolerance to drugs, harsher penalties for people caught trafficking and supplying drugs, and money spent on better drug awareness campaigns rather than on ads promoting the Government."
-Queensland Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg

The Queensland Police Minister, Judy Spence responded with this cracker:

"Parents and indeed all members of the community need to join with government to help society understand that far from being harmless and recreational, illicit and illegal drugs can lead to hefty fines, prison sentences and in the cases of drug use, death". 
-Queensland Police Minister Judy Spence

With ambulance call outs rising in Queensland, there was no mention of what health factors are involved or whether contaminated drugs were hitting the streets. No mention that people were dying or dropping like flies. The only concern of the opposition was which party was toughest on drugs!

The WA Liberal Government
Repealing the WA cannabis laws

Runners Up:

The WA Liberal government
Stop and search laws in WA

Bill Shorten MP (ALP) / Tony Abbott MP (LP)
Promoting the program, How to Drug Proof Your Kids from the Christian fundamentalist anti-gay group, Focus on the Family who have some very dubious connections [link 1] [link 2]

The NSW Labor government
Removing a smoking exemption for mental health facilities [link]

Christian Democratic Party
The most un-Christian policy in Australia

Runners Up:

• Family First
• The Liberal Party
• The National Party

Web Deals: Crims Get Cheap SA Drugs Online
Adelaide Advertiser - Mark Schliebs [link]

The article was just a revamp of a story published on several other News Ltd websites albeit with their own unique headline. Sadly for The Advertiser, these forums have been around for many years and were for information only, there was no mention of “crims” anywhere in the story, the drug prices were not cheap, it was not SA specific and there was no deals done online. Pointless headline really.

Runners Up:

Drug User Rips Off His Scrotum
The CourierMail [link]

The War On Drugs Is Being Won
Sydney Morning Herald - Miranda Devine [link]

Drug Dealers And Users Can Google Up A Few Hits
Adelaide Advertiser - Ben Harvy And Lauren Zwaans [link]

The Drug Scourge

Runners Up:

Heroin Addicts Shame
By Laurie Nowell and Evonne Barry (Sunday HeraldSun) [link]

Drug User Rips Off His Scrotum
The CourierMail [link]

Cocaine Parties Thrive In Suburbia
By Jackie Sinnerton (CourierMail) [link]

It's about time ambulances stopped going out to drug OD calls or at the very least put them at the bottom of the priority list and just let the d**kheads lay in their own vomit. One day it could be you or a family member who has to wait for an ambulance because of the stupidity of one of the bottom dwellers and the consequences could be fatal. From now on no more tax payer funded support or medical intervention for drug users. I've had people close die from drug related issues and the rubbish they cause just isn't worth keeping them around. Let them dig their own graves.
-Posted by: Fed Up of the real world

Runners Up:

Let them die and overdose. They took this sh*t willingly. Sounds cruel but hey, why shold good resources such as the medics be sent out to save these tools? Someone more deserving needs to come first eg: heart attacks patients, stroke victims etc. Let the junkies die.
-Posted by: 123

To bad the whole 26 didnt die.
-Posted by: Rex

Just let them die,they wont do it again will they now.That will save us (community) a lot of money and time.
-Posted by: The real Jack

...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!!!!!!!!!!!
-Posted by: Charles Darwin of Evolutionville

Runners Up:

I know that we have a problem with these kids that find the only way to have fun is to get high on these drugs. Sorry and I know a lot of you won't agree with what I have to say, but if they want to blow their minds of on these drugs then don't waste out medical officers trying to save them. Just let them go. Theyn know when they take this drug there are risks. If the rinks are not anhered to then what more can you say. DO THE CRIME DO THE TIME. Sorry but have had enough of hearing about drug abuse in this countr. I came up in the 60s and wastn't lured by drugs in those days, so why are we worrying about what is happing today???? If you want to blow your brains out on drugs then go ahead as far as I am concerned. We are wasting too much money and effort dealing with kinds that have had no dissapline in their youth and it is starting to show in their aduthoot. Get a life and start looking forward to a future where you now are in control and not your parents.
-Posted by: Cathy of Gayndah's posts like yours that makes a parents job 'that much harder' say 'if ectasy was regulated, taxed and sold like alcohol, no one would take BGH and overdoses wouldn't happen'...that's just irresponsible and stupid! NO DRUG should be 'regulated, taxed and sold'...(even dope will not get legalised, as who wants a bonged out bogan driving on our roads??)...anything that is chemically made is NOT SAFE!!!. NO DRUG!! But young people reading your ill informed post will only 'justify' that taking ectasy is 'really ok'...well its NOT!! And us as parents have our work cut out even further, to try to explain these stupid comments are NOT ACCEPTABLE!!! But l agree with what you said about alcohol...Alcohol is legal and thousands are affected by it...dometic abuse, addiction, drink driving, violent bashings??? You need to 'balance' your statement, and not be so hypocrital..
-Posted by: Cheryl 

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.
-Posted by: Crackers of Freo

Miranda Devine (SMH)
-The War On Drugs Is Being Won [link]
-Addicts Say Abstinence Sets Them Free [link]

Runners Up:

Jackie Sinnerton [link]
-Cocaine Parties Thrive In Suburbia [link]
-Housewives Turn To Cocaine Abuse In Queensland (with Paula Doneman) [link]

Lauren Zwaans & Ben Harvy
-New Drug Craze Worries Authorities [link]
-Drug Dealers And Users Trade Tips On Internet Site [link]
-Drug Barons Recruit Younger Users [link]
-Drugs, drunks on a night of dirty deals [link]
-When Love Is Found In A Pill [link]
-Experimentation Leads To Permanent Effects [link]

The is no such thing as a safe recreational drug

Runners Up:

• “Send the wrong message”
• “Epidemic”
•  “Scourge”

Drug Free Australia (DFA)
Making multiple votes on a web poll [link]

It appears that there are no boundaries to the deceit from some supporters of Drug Free Australia(DFA). A recent internet poll that questioned whether DFA have a rightful place on professional lists had to be reset after it was discovered that multiple votes had come from the same IP address.

Runners Up:

The Federal Coalition
Harm Minimisation has failed

Pretending to be neutral on the cannabis debate while the director, Dr. Jan Copeland is a well known anti-cannabis crusader

The Police
Drug raids are having significant effect on drug supply and demand

Questioning the success of Needle Exchange Programs
Drug Free Australia (DFA)

(For some reason, the report doesn’t appear on DFA’s website. In fact I can’t find it anywhere except here)

And when it comes to Hepatitis C prevention, where we at Drug Free Australia believe there is some demonstrated benefit, the researchers have failed to recognise that needle exchanges, by giving the appearance of condoning drug use, may have the effect of increasing drug use while alleviating some of its harms.  It is notable that when the ‘safe use of illicit drugs’ movement, of which needle exchanges are one physical manifestation, was handsomely bankrolled internationally in 1991, world drug use skyrocketed, and there is every possibility that this was causal.  So increased drug use would decrease the overall financial benefit to Australians.

Runners Up:

Cannabis is a gateway drug
WA Premier, Colin Barnett 

Overstating the connection between cannabis and testicular cancer
The Daily Telegraph [link]

“Tough on Drugs” reduces drug use
All major political parties except the Greens and the Democrats

Herschel Baker (DFA)
Drug prohibition saves thousands of lives and billions of dollars in economic resources [link]
The only reason that the death rate from illicit drugs is lower than that caused by alcohol abuse is that such drugs are illegal. Our current system of drug prohibition actually saves thousands of lives and billions of dollars in economic resources

Runners Up:

SA Police Minister Michael Wright
Great success from police drug dogs [link]
“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.”

In just over 12 months and 193 deployments, the total haul is: 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.

The article claims that BZP is dangerous and has “significant side effects”  [link]

The article claims that BZP has “significant side effects and can prove deadly in certain circumstances” then listing these “significant side effects” as increased heart rate; dilation of pupils; nausea; flushing; dry mouth; urinary incontinence. They don’t sound too deadly to me. Also, what is “urinary incontinence”? [link]

Theodore Dalrymple (Anthony Daniels)
The Spectator (UK) [link]
Heroin withdrawal as being no worse than a case of the flu and 5-10 years in jail will stop the rise of heroin addiction.

[Withdrawal] is time limited... and not life-threatening, thus can be easily controlled by reassurance, personal attention and general nursing care without any need for pharmacotherapy. [...] I might add also that doctors have a very long history of treating the trivial condition of withdrawal from opiates in a dangerous, indeed fatal fashion.
Addiction should be treated as an aggravating circumstance, and an automatic additional five or ten years ought to be added to addicts’ sentences...

Sophie Mirabella MP
The Liberal Party

Is Sophie the new Bronwyn Bishop? Rude and belligerent, demanding and stubborn, arrogant and obnoxious? These traits probably fit most politicians but Sophie excels at them and is starting to shine as the next female head-kicker for the Libs. But it’s her venomous hate of drug users and harm minimisation that fuels the comparisons with the iron beehive. The push for cruel, inhumane strategies and praise for the so called success of Howard’s “Tough on Drugs” policy, reeks of Bishopism and some deep seated conservative views. If you add to this a complete ignorance of medical facts, a plethora of persistent, scary sound-bites  and the vote winning attraction of being “Tough on Drugs” then you have the perfect anti-drug propagandist.

“At the Annual UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna in March this year, our “tough” Government actually protested that the term “harm reduction” had been pointedly excluded from a political declaration – effectively betraying Labor’s real “soft on drugs” approach and putting us at odds with our traditional ally, the US.”

Runners Up:

Jamie Briggs MP 
The Liberal Party
Varous articles in the media [link]

Susan Ley MP
The Liberal Party
Continuous attacks on ALP’s customs and border protection policies especially in reference to drugs

Lawrence Springborg  MP
The Liberal Party
Outrageous comments about drug policies and laws

Pope Benedict XVI
CEO of the Catholic Church (Head Office)
In an obvious last minute attempt at influencing the upcoming United Nations meeting in March to determine international drug policy, the Vatican issued a public statement that using drugs is "anti-life" and "so-called harm reduction leads to liberalisation of the use of drugs". The Vatican objects to harm reduction strategies like needle exchange programs, safe injecting sites and methadone. Although these strategies save lives and have been very successful, the Vatican selfishly put their ideology first. It shows once again these fundamentalists care more about pushing their stale dogma on society than actually helping people.  [link]

Runners Up:

Antonio Maria Costa 
Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Antonio Maria Costa is an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, appointed in May 2002 to the positions of Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV). [wikipedia]

Robert Dupont
Bensinger, DuPont & Associates (BDA)

DuPont was the first director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and was White House Drug Chief from 1973 to 1978. He is co-founder of Bensinger, DuPont & Associates (BDA) — a company that specializes in workplace drug testing. See this post about his claims that marijuana legalization would be like legalizing speeding and drunk driving.

Calvina Fay
Drug Free America Foundation(DFAF)

Calvina Fay is the Executive Director for Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. and Save Our Society From Drugs (SOS). She has been an outspoken advocate against the legalization of drugs for over 20 years. Professor Fay has served as an advisor to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy as well as several political leaders, including President Bush, on drug policy issues. She is the author of several books, most noteworthy being, The Supervisor's Handbook For Preventing Drug Abuse in The Workplace and Starting a Drug Free Business Initiative. As seen by the titles of her books, one of Calvina Fay's major focus is on drug abuse in the workplace.

Dr. George O’Neal & Dr. Stuart Reece
Medical Entrepreneurs

While people are dying from their Naltrexone implants, they continue to play on desperate addicts looking a miracle cure. The implants are not registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) so they use a loophole under the special Access Scheme, by claiming that heroin dependent patients are critically ill and at risk of death. Reece is also a hardline, fundamentalist Christian and anti-harm minimisation nutter who is infamous for citing biblical quotes at a government enquiry. 

Runners Up:

Craig Thompson
National President of Drug Free Australia (DFA)

A previous role as a magistrate in the Local Courts of NSW opens many doors for Craig Thompson to push his Zero Tolerance agenda. His out spoken views on cannabis and on the drug taking riff-raff he dealt with as a magistrate gets him plenty of invitations to speak his mind. And that’s exactly what he does ... gives his personal opinions without much evidence to back it up.

Roslyn Phillips
FamilyVoice Australia

Formely known as the Festival of Light, FamilyVoice Australia continue their damnation of harm minimisation with several submissions to government enquiries. Roslyn Phillips is the main voice from this group who once claimed Rev. Fred Nile as one of their own.

Jo Baxter
Drug Free Australia (DFA), Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD), WFAD

While being a member of DFA and WFAD mightn’t have any credibility, her position in the ANCD does. Although, I doubt if anyone at the ANCD actually pays her any attention, Aunty Jo is still able to make her silly suggestions as a member of this group. As the ANCD sheds it’s link to Brian Watters, Craig Thompson, Ann Bressington, John Howard and other relics of the past, it is becoming much more credible with harm minimisation heavy weight Gino Vumbaca and other qualified personnel. This gives Aunty Jo the apparent backing of a reputable group (one that isn’t sniggered at like DFA and WFAD) and her push for dangerous Zero Tolerance strategies might be taken seriously.

Sniffer dogs at Cheech and Chong show in Sydney

The NSW police have been experiencing a PR nightmare recently but their latest escapade tops them all. In a woeful display of wasted resources, a Cheech and Chong show at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney’s Newtown was delayed as a team of 25 officers and 4 drug dogs screened the audience as they entered the foyer. The police were later seen at nearby pubs and the local railway station in search of more dangerous, middle aged pot smokers. In all, 6 people were found with small quantities of cannabis and were released without charge and instead were given a caution notice. [link]

Runners Up:

Just Say No
A “Just Say No” rehash from the No Way Campaign supported by the National Rugby League(NRL) [link]

A host of rugby league personalities, including Rabbitohs coach Jason Taylor, will help deliver to schools and young people the uncompromising new message - "Just say no". The campaign, to be launched at a Sydney public high school today, is a direct challenge to harm-minimisation advocates who admit young people take drugs and seek to limit the damage. - The Daily Telegraph

Sniffer Dogs
Sniffer dogs at music festivals like The Big Day Out

Costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and wasting much needed resources, the police continue their focus on casual users of relatively safe, recreational drugs. And like a bucket with holes in it, most of what they are trying to stop, gets through. They only capture a tiny percentage of the total drugs at these venues but it’s obvious it’s not their real intention. Like most of these strategies, it’s about appearing “Tough on Drugs” which will hopefully equate into more votes at an election.

School Drug Testing & DFA Recomendations
Push for school drug testing and other recommendations from a DFA report [link]

Independent MP, Peter Wellington wanted to implement drug testing at schools and other recommendations from the discredited DFA report: Cannabis: suicide, schizophrenia and other ill-effects.

The push by Peter Wellington MP (ind.) is surprising since he seems to be quite intelligent. He is a firm believer in offering unlimited medication to dying people in pain and has criticised NSW for having draconian, opposing laws.

But he has clearly missed the mark here and been blinded by the junk science produced by DFA. He said the report showed “irrefutable” evidence there was a connection for many people between cannabis/marijuana use and mental illness. The key deception was the use of “many” people which should say “hardly any” people. Only those with a pre-existing family history of mental health problems are at risk or those who heavily abuse the drug.

“What concerns me is that so many people in our community seem to have the view that marijuana use is not a problem. They view it as a recreational drug which is not a problem and that everyone does it.
The report has frightening revelations, and mental illness is a tsunami about to erupt”
-Peter Wellington MP (ind.) Member for Nicklin.

Like most DFA recommendations, they were eventually ignored and faded into obscurity.

The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna

Runners Up:

• The death of Gemma Thoms who swallowed all of her ecstasy pills to avoid detection from drug sniffer dogs at the Big Day Out [link]
• The sacking of Professor David Nutt by The UK Home Secretary [link]
• Queen Silvia of Sweden, accepting Patronage of The World Forum Against Drugs and her failure to address the appalling human rights abuse in her own nation

The ultimate anti-drug zealot who made a huge impact on the downfall of rational thinking and sensibility in 2009. Unlike the category for Most Dangerous Anti-Drug Campaigner, The Bucket Head of the Year can be literally a “Bucket Head” Think of Rove, Bronwyn Bishop, Daryl Somers etc. They might be dangerous or just plain stupid but they must be worthy of scorn and criticism.

Colin Barnett
WA Premier (LP)

Trying to top last year’s winner, Anne Bressington, is not easy but WA premier, Colin Barnett has made a gallant attempt. Introducing new laws infamous for failing globally, to replace existing laws that have been succeeding could be interpreted as brave and insightful. Unfortunately for Colin “Barney Rubble” Barnett, it wasn’t. It was seen for what it really was ... an out-of-touch old man clinging desperately to his stagnant ideology and putting faith into strategies that have failed miserably for the last 40-60 years which are rapidly on their way out. Only a brave man indeed would remove a modern, successful drug policy because of myths like “The Gateway Theory” and other junk science. Someone should point out to Barney that the internet(yes Barney, that TV looking thing on your desk) means politicians can no longer just say what they want and the public have to take it as gospel. 

Barney is also introducing “Stop and Search” laws, claiming it will cut down on street violence and anti-social behaviour by seeking out those carrying knives or drugs. In certain designated areas, police can stop and search any person without provision of reasonable suspicion. What the hell drugs have to with weapons is yet to quantified.

Barney is a dying breed which probably sums up the current Liberal Party and some of the Labor Party. It's not that his drug policies are just useless and counter-productive but they are also dangerous. To underplay the deaths and misery caused by these policies for political gain or for personal ideology is disgraceful and should be seen as a criminal act. A “Tough on Drugs” mentality has caused massive damage in every country that adopts this approach and after 100 years of drug prohibition globally, some common sense is finally emerging. Sadly, this doesn’t include Colin Barnett.

On a lighter side ... man, is he funny or what? That bloodhound face looking like it was made from plastic. The monotone political rhetoric putting TV viewers to sleep. Walking around Northbridge at night to prove it is family friendly only to be confronted with some druggie asleep in a doorway. But it was an accidental camera pan of several heavyweight body guards that blew his cover as the brave leader walking the streets alone. And of course, the references to old, debunked urban myths about drugs that had much of WA’s youth rolling around the floor in hysterics and experts scratching their heads in bewilderment. Good stuff, Barney.

I proudly present to you, this years BucketHead of the Year for 2009 ... WA Premier, Colin Barnett.

Runners Up:

Jo Baxter
Drug Free Australia (DFA)
Ah, Aunty Jo Baxter. Keeping DFA in the spotlight as the other board members settle into their retirement homes or wait for surgery. Rumour has it that Jo was once a host for a children’s TV show and her homely looks and manner sparked the nickname, Aunty Jo. But don’t be fooled ... under that soft exterior is a dedicated DFA warrior. She is able to whip up links to decades old research and toss around junk science sound bites with the best of them.

Ryan Hidden
Reformed Drug Addicts League of SA
That nattering mouthpiece for Anne Bressington remains constant with his campaign against harm minimisation and cannabis. Like an itch on your bum, he’s there annoying the shit out of you for no other reason, except that he can.

Gary Christian
Drug Free Australia (DFA)
Gary is DFA’s technical advisor for propaganda and is responsible for regular attacks on harm minimisation. He is well known on the ANCD email forums for trying to discredit any research that opposes the DFA dogma. Not surprisingly, no one else usually agrees with him.


Ben said...

Excellent post as always.

Firesnake said...

Congrat's Colin. Or should that be YABBA DABBA DOOOO!

Glad to see Bam Bam still advises on policy. Just smash it - smash it all!

It takes balls to be as batshit crazy as Barnett. Send him some mephedrone and he can get er.. Ripped literally.

It's weird. Every time he "has an idea", I imagine Basil Fawlty, eyes bulging screaming saliva riddled insults at his own clenched fist.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Ben.

Yes, Firesnake ... he is batshit crazy!!!

Gledwood said...

Yeah, but I think the antidrug zealts are more interested in causing pain, suffering and death than in truly sorting anything out.. know what I mean?

I found this article on the Australian Heroin Drought

is there still a heroin drought in Australia?.. is it true you're getting Afghan brown in now?

I think the article is fascinating in it's analysis of law enforcement vs economics... anyway gotta rush, about to be terminated off this half hour internet cafe booking!

Kerri said...

It's about time someone highlighted these morons. I didn't think there were that many of them.

A big congrats to Colin Barnett for being the biggest tool in Australia. Does he get a trophy?

I had hardly heard of DFA until your blog. What an evil bunch of fundies!!

Keep up the good work.