Category Archives: Alternative News

Alternative News

Conventional Cancer Treatments Failed Annamarie Tewitz

Cancer patient (7) starved for 3 days before surgery that might never have been needed if medical dagga was legal.

Sadly, Annamarie Tewitz passed away on Saturday after a botched surgery to fix a shunt.

The brave little girl was fighting brain cancer in & out of hospital over the past year. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in February just two weeks after she started grade 1.

Her morther, Christa Tewitz, says she battled to get surgeons to attend to Annamarie.

Tewitz says little Annamarie was starved for three days before undergoing surgery and this caused her critical condition to deteriorate.

She says the surgeons would not see her daughter until the young girl stopped breathing and she laid complaints.

The hospital’s neurosurgery head says he regrets the child’s death but has denied allegations of negligence.

Christa Tewitz says her little girl always had a smile on her face, even when faced with ventilator tubes and surgery after surgery.

Was brain surgery necessary?

Boy, two, with brain cancer is ‘cured’ after secretly being fed medical dagga by his father

A desperate father whose son was suffering from a life-threatening brain tumour has revealed he gave him cannabis oil to ease his pain.

And he has now apparently made a full recovery.

Cash Hyde, known as Cashy, was a perfectly healthy baby when he was born in June 2008 but became sick shortly before his second birthday.

Cash "Cashy" Hyde
Cash “Cashy” Hyde

At first he was misdiagnosed with glandular fever before his parents Mike and Kalli, from Missoula in Montana, were given the devastating news he had a serious brain tumour.

The little boy had to have arduous chemotherapy treatment to reduce the growth, which had drastic side effects including seizures and a blood infection.

His distraught parents were repeatedly told he was likely to succumb to the illness because the condition was so bad.
After one bout of high-dose chemotherapy, Cash was so weak he could not lift his head and was too sick to eat any solid food for 40 days.

It was at this point that Mr Hyde decided to take action and go down the route of medical marijuana to try to help his young son.

Cash’s doctors refused to even discuss the option but his father went and sought authorisation elsewhere and then secretly administered it through his son’s feeding tube.

He also told doctors to stop giving Cash the cocktail of anti-nausea drugs he had been taking – although he never told them what he was doing.

Mr Hyde told KXLY News that his son started looking better right away.

Mr Hyde said: ‘He hadn’t eaten a thing in 40 days – and, it was really incredible to watch him take a bite of a piece of cheese. It shows that he wants to live’.

He credits the cannabis oil with helping his son get through the chemo, and say Cash has now been declared cancer free by doctors.
The boy is now back and home and living the life of a typical young boy, playing with his elder brother Colty.

Medical marijuana is legal in some states, including Montana, but its use for children is poorly understood and quite rate.

The US federal government does not recognise the legality of using the drug for medical reasons and frequently clashes with states over the issue.

Mr Hyde told KXLY: ‘It’s very controversial, it’s very scary. But, there’s nothing more scary than losing your child.’

Cannabis For Infant’s Brain Tumor, Doctor Calls Child “A Miracle Baby”

Medical dagga is gaining acceptance, but could it even help kids? Dr. William Courtney has seen it happen, and on Friday, told HuffPost Live host Alyona Minkovski about it. Saying he was “quite a skeptic 5 or 6 years ago”, Dr. Courtney continued that “my youngest patient is 8 months old, and had a very massive centrally located inoperable brain tumor.” The child’s father pushed for non-traditional treatment utilizing cannabis.

“They were putting cannabinoid oil on the baby’s pacifier twice a day, increasing the dose… And within two months there was a dramatic reduction, enough that the pediatric oncologist allowed them to go ahead with not pursuing traditional therapy.”

The tumor was remarkably reduced after eight months of treatment. Dr. Courtney pointed out that the success of the cannabis approach means that “this child, because of that, is not going to have the long-term side effects that would come from a very high dose of chemotherapy or radiation… currently the child’s being called a miracle baby, and I would have to agree that this is the perfect response that we should be insisting is front-line therapy for all children before they launch off on all medications that have horrific long term side effects.”

STATE FORCES CONNECTICUT TEEN WITH CANCER TO UNDERGO CHEMOTHERAPY

Teen refused treatment and her mother supported her daughter’s decision

17-year-old girl with cancer is in an unprecedented legal battle with the state of Connecticut as the Department of Children and Families removed her from her home and forced the teen to receive chemotherapy.

The girl being identified as “Cassandra C.” in court papers was diagnosed with cancer in September, with doctors recommending she receive chemotherapy for the rare condition of Hodgkins Lymphoma. However, the teen refused treatment and her mother supported her daughter’s decision, causing Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families to step in and force the teen to receive treatment, WTIC-TV reports.

In November, the DCF successfully petitioned for an order of temporary custody of the girl and ordered her mother to cooperate with medical care administered to her daughter under DCF supervision. After two chemo treatments, Cassandra ran away from home before subsequently returning to refuse treatment altogether.

“Following a hearing at which Cassandra’s doctors testified, the trial court ordered that she be removed from her home and that she remain in DCF’s care and custody,” read court documents. “The court also authorized DCF to make all necessary medical decisions on Cassandra’s behalf.”

According to the National Cancer Institute, side effects of chemotherapy can include nausea, hair loss, vomiting, fatigue and diarrhea.

Cassandra and her mother appealed the trial court ruling, claiming that forced treatment violates their constitutional rights by allowing the DCF to use their judgment over their own without any finding of incompetence on their behalf. They also claim that Connecticut should recognize the “mature minor doctrine” that requires a court to first determine if a minor is not sufficiently mature to be legally allowed to make medical decisions on her own.

“It’s a question of fundamental constitutional rights–the right to have a say over what happens to your body–and the right to say to the government ‘you can’t control what happens to my body,’” Cassandra’s mother’s attorney, Michael S. Taylor, told WTIC.
Taylor represents Cassandra’s mother, while a state public defender represents Cassandra.

Cassandra and her mother claim that Connecticut’s common law and public policy dictate that DCF cannot force Cassandra to receive medical treatment over her knowing and informed objection and over the knowing and informed objection of her mother, according to the court documents.

Cassandra’s case will be heard Thursday at the Connecticut Supreme Court in Hartford. She must remain at the local hospital to continue her treatment against her wishes until the unprecedented case is heard.

“The Supreme Court of the state has never ruled on this issue, the Supreme Court of the United States has not ruled on this issue. So it’s very significant not just for our client, and for the minor child, but for the law in general,” said Taylor.

Sources

CANCER PATIENT (7) STARVED FOR 3 DAYS BEFORE SURGERY

HOSPITAL PROMISES PROBE AFTER CANCER SURVIVOR’S DEATH

HOSPITAL TO PROBE CANCER PATIENT CASE

CONDITION OF YOUNG CANCER SURVIVOR IMPROVES

SPECIAL UNIT TO PROBE CASE OF YOUNG CANCER SURVIVOR

HOW DAGGA SHRINK MOST AGGRESSIVE BRAIN CANCER

Boy, two, with brain cancer is ‘cured’ after secretly being fed medical marijuana by his father

STATE FORCES CONNECTICUT TEEN WITH CANCER TO UNDERGO CHEMOTHERAPY

To drug or not to drug?

Marijuana. Weed. Cannabis. Dagga. Same drug, same effects, same debate: should dagga be legalized? Marijuana has been around for ages, and now it is in every society in the world, including many schools. Even our own school. Known for its “high”, it has become extremely popular among teenagers. We all have friends who use it; in fact, it’s hard to find teenagers who don’t use it! As a teenager, I will give my naïve-16 year old opinion on some questions that are often thrown around about weed: Why do teenagers like marijuana so much?

In  my opinion,  teenagers are just bored beings who want something else to do other than their boring Maths homework, and of course the all-important; peer pressure. Marijuana has been glamorised in the media and entertainment industry by superstars from Justin Bieber to Lady Gaga. The sooner adults can accept that weed has become ‘cool’, the sooner we can actually get over it. Just take a look around your school and you will see it’s the ‘popular kids’ (as much as I hate that phrase) who talk about getting high all the time (like all the time) and the clean kids are seen as nerds. All these kids want to be “King Cannabis and Princess High”.

Zulpha Jones, a grade 11 student from Alexander Stinton high school, says dagga must be legalised! – Prepared Afrikaans Speech

Why are so many teens supporting the legalization of weed? There are teens who like marijuana so much that they would advocate for the legalisation of weed if they could. “Dude, weed has some really cool medicinal effects like pain relief, helping people with AIDS and cancer and whatnot!”  This is a quintessential argument of this group. This argument irks me. It really does irk me to my core. Not that it’s dishonest, I just feel that a lot of these teens, and adults, don’t really care about helping those people but are rather using the issue as an excuse for the legalisation of weed so that they can get high without worrying about legal consequences. Because the last time I checked, you are smoking weed to get high not to benefit your health. I’m not saying that these are not good reasons to further the research into the benefits of weed, but I believe that teens should just be honest with their intentions when making a case for the legalisation of weed.

After some serious weed discipline issues at our school, there have been tough ramifications and serious discipline strategies put in place to stop isolated incidents from turning into a problem. So why the tough consequences if weed isn’t “that bad”?  Are our teachers are over-reacting? Our teachers are discouraging us from using an illegal substance!Yes, they are over-reacting. Our teachers are stopping us from taking a drug with disputed long term medical effects! Yes, they are definitely over-reacting. Our teachers are stopping us from making a decision to do a psychoactive substance! Yes, they are most definitely over-reacting. Hopefully you have caught on the sarcasm by now.

“To Drug or not to drug?”, now that is the question. You are most likely going to be offered weed as a teen and it’s up to you to make an informed decision. Make sure you know the consequences of choosing to do and not do it and you are willing to take responsibility for your actions.

 

Written by Jude Wells, Grade 11

Legalising Drugs Could Benefit The Economy And Save Lives

Drug prohibition does not eliminate drug use nor does it eliminate the market for drugs.

Between 1920 and 1933 the US government prohibited alcohol, including a ban on production, transportation, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

The ban arose from America’s Protestant-inspired Temperance movement. At first, the movement pushed for moderation, but, after some time, they advocated for complete prohibition.

Despite the organisation’s success, alcohol was readily available to a number of Americans through illegal means. This is a classic example of how markets can be distorted. However, my intention is not to show you how alcohol prohibition was an epic failure, but to explain why legalising drug use makes perfect economic sense.

A couple of days ago I read an article about a 16-year-old girl from East London who died in a drug-related incident. This really saddened me, and raised the question: “Shouldn’t a government look after the welfare of its people?”
People say that drug use leads to death. Yes, it does, but more people die from road accidents, alcohol abuse and swimming. In some countries, there are more reported deaths from skiing or snowboarding than drug-related ones and yet these activities are all legal.

Studying economics taught me how important free choice is and how paramount it is for governments to respect consumer sovereignty. Interfering with this basic economic principle results in major market failures.

Drug prohibition does not eliminate drug use nor does it eliminate the market for drugs. Instead, the market narrows and the black market flourishes. As a result, prices are driven up and incentives are created to make cheaper and more potent drugs.

Since there are no institutions to enforce contracts in black markets disputes are usually resolved through the use of guns or intimidation. This leads to the formation of gangs to protect market share. Furthermore, there are greater incentives to bribe police officers, court officials and politicians.

Of greater concern is that prohibition creates huge health risks. There are no quality control agencies in the black market to force producers to include ingredient information on their products.

The government protects the drug industry by keeping the prices high. Economics 101 dictates that a free market exchange drives prices down because of the relative ease of entry and exit into the market. The barriers of entry created by government ensures that the interests of the drug cartels are protected.

Simply put: the government promotes anticompetitive behaviour in the drug trade.

My point is that the costs of keeping drugs illegal outweigh the costs of legalising them. South African prisons and holding cells are crowded with small-time drug dealers and people who were arrested for drug possession while the big drug lords are out roaming the streets freely.

Legalising drugs will ultimately eliminate the black market and, in my opinion, street gangs. It can lead to the establishment of new industries that increase gross domestic product substantially.

Strict rules regarding health, safety and information about the product can be introduced and dealers held responsible for deaths.

Does my viewpoint mean I approve of drug use? No, certainly not. To be aware of the enormous risks attached to drug use is an educational task that starts at home, and is continued at schools and through churches and other community-based organisations. That duty is ours, not that of a government using its legislative powers

Source

The Drug Policy Sham – 56 Myths, Lies and Misconceptions Behind The Drug Apartheid

Drug law and policy has its roots in fear, ignorance, racism and self interest. Sadly, this has changed little over the years. It continues to be shaped more by punitive populism and moral crusades, rather than scientific evidence, reason and rationality.

To expose and encourage a critical debate I’ve tried to uncover some of the main myths, lies and misconceptions that underpin and shape and inform drug policy development. Unless we acknowledge our philosophical position and identify the principles that inform our thinking, we risk replicating further misguided drug policies.

Although punchy and accessible in style, each point below is carefully considered and can be academically supported – but that’s for another day!

1. “There is a clear pharmacological definition for drugs.” There isn’t – what we classify as illegal ‘drugs’ is a 1950s & 60s social and cultural construct with no coherent pharmacological rationale. We fail to recognise alcohol, tobacco or caffeine as drugs – and maybe sugar should also be classified as a drug.

 

2. “People who use drugs are drug misusers.” Untrue – the vast majority generally use drugs recreationally and sensibly, but unfortunately we conflate use with problematic use. 

 

3. “Drug users are dirty, immoral and dangerous losers.” An unjustified and hostile stereotype – illicit drug users are a diverse group of people from every walk of life. The drug business is dirty, immoral and dangerous – that’s because it’s illegal, extremely lucrative and subject to fierce law enforcement.

 

4. “People take drugs because they have problems.” Untrue – most people take drugs because they enjoy the effect, just like alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.

 

5. “Regular drug use inevitably leads to addiction.” Untrue – only a small proportion of people who use drugs develop addiction – just like alcohol.

 

6. “Taking drugs damages people.” All substances (legal and illegal) can damage people, and the most damaging drug of all is a legal one – alcohol. However, prohibition makes illicit drugs more dangerous and damaging. In addition, acquiring a criminal record for drugs can be more harmful to life than the drug. 

 

7. “Drug use fuels crime.” The presence of a drug and the commission of a crime does not equate to a causal connection. The relationship is ‘associated’ rather than ‘causal’. However, there is evidence that prohibition and tough law enforcement fuel violent crime.

 

8. “Legal drugs are safer and less harmful.” This is a particularly misleading statement, because alcohol and tobacco are far more damaging than mostillegal drugs. However, prohibition makes it difficult to know the strength, ingredients or quality of illegal drugs, which in itself creates an entirely avoidable risk.

 

9. “Law enforcement measures affect levels of drug use.” Studies show that in advanced western democracies neither tough, nor liberal law enforcement approaches have much impact upon levels of drug use.

 

10. “Addiction is an equal opportunity employer.” Drug use is an equal opportunity employer,  but chronic addiction isn’t. While anyone can be affected, chronic problematic drug use tends to disproportionately affect those with disadvantaged and damaged lives that had significant difficulties before PDU and these people lack the resources, opportunities and support to recover.

 

11. “Addiction is a brain disease”. Untrue, yes the brain will be affected but loss of control of drugs (similar to internet addiction, gambling, over-eating) has much more to do with social, psychological and behavioural fact than neurological defects. If addiction was a brain disease MRIs would be used as diagnostic evidence of addiction.

 

12. “The government can protect society by banning new drugs”.Banning drugs masquerades as positive action to deal with the ‘problem’ when actually banning drugs has little impact on use and makes production, distribution and consumption more dangerous.

 

13. “Once listed in the Misuse of Drugs Act, drugs become controlled.” Technically correct – but once a drug is listed as a controlled drug, it is forced underground and thus becomes completely outside government/social control. So ironically a controlled drug, is by nature, an uncontrolled drug.

 

14. “Cannabis is a gateway drug that leads to addiction to ‘hard’ drugs.” Untrue, most young adults have used cannabis and most have not progressed onto using other drugs, nor have they become ‘addicts’. The last three Presidents of the USA all successfully used cannabis without any gateway affect.

 

15. “People who use caffeine, tobacco and/or alcohol are not drug users”. Untrue – they certainly are drug users and many are ‘addicts’. These three substances are all drugs, and ironically unlike some illegal drugs – in high dosages caffeine, tobacco and alcohol are toxic and result in death.

 

16. “If we lock up dealers we can reduce the drug related violence.” The opposite is true, disrupting the supply distribution and removing dealers creates more violence by fuelling market uncertainty, presenting new business opportunities and creating ‘business’ conflict.

 

17. “Drug use isn’t a crime issue it’s a health issue.” This may sound like a step in the right direction, but taking a substance isn’t inherently a health issue, anymore than enjoying a coffee or glass of wine is a ‘health issue’. Even problematic drug use isn’t best described as a health issue, it’s more accurately a social, psychological, health and/or legal issue.

 

18. “There are ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs.” There is no scientific evidence underpinning the misleading categorisation of hard and soft drugs. While some drugs can generally pose greater problems than other drugs to some people, – these generalisations are misleading because the impact of a drug varies from person to person depending upon the set (the person) and the setting (the environment) – it’s not just the substance.

 

19. “Drugs are illegal because they are dangerous, and the proof they are dangerous is that they are illegal!” This circular Double-Speak offers no evidence and is used to defend prohibition, but the substances we have called ‘drugs’ are not inherently more dangerous than other substances such as alcohol, sugar, tobacco, fat, caffeine and peanuts. However, prohibition increases the risk, danger and uncertainty considerably.

 

20. “Drug testing will tell you if a person is on drugs.” The result is unreliable due to human error, machine error, deliberate and accidental false positives and false negatives. Someone eating a poppy seed bagel could test positive for opiates. Someone who tests positive for cannabis may not have used the drug that day, however, because of the metabolites of the drug the positive result may be detecting cannabis used days, weeks or even months ago.  Drug presence does not indicate drug impairment or intoxication.

 

21. “Like everything else on the market drugs must be proven safe before they can ever be legalised.” Not true. The safety for other products does not have to be established before approval (for example mobile phones or GM foods). Substances that are damaging or even lethal to some such as tobacco, alcohol, peanuts are legal and promoted, whereas a drug such as cannabis that has medicinal benefits and has never killed anyone is considered dangerous and remains illegal.

 

22. “People who use drugs are not criminals they need help.” An apparently benign and supportive statement, however, while taking a drug should not be a law enforcement concern, neither should we problematize or pathologize drug use as a health issue. There is no reason why we should assume a person using drugs needs help.

 

23. “Recovery is about becoming drug free.” Recovery is about people who have been dependent on drugs regaining control of their life, but becoming drug free isn’t always necessary to achieve that. Some people sort their life out and continue to use in a non-problematic way, and some take clean legal prescribed substitutes such as methadone or heroin and successfully lead productive and stable lives. 

 

24. “Harm reduction is about reducing the spread of diseases.” Harm reduction is not just about health – it’s also about reducing social, cultural and psychological harms. Harm reduction is an evidenced-based approach that should sit alongside human rights to underpin all drug policy. It’s pragmatic, humane and non judgemental, it engages people where they are at with a view to reducing risk and harm.

 

25. “Harm reduction doesn’t support abstinence.” Harm reduction isn’t about getting people off drugs – it’s about working with people to reduce risks. However, in some cases abstinence might be a good way to reduce risks – so harm reduction incorporates abstinence – but only if the person is ready, able, interested and wanting to become abstinent.

 

26. “Illegal drugs have little or no use in medicine.” Although this sentiment is enshrined in the much out-dated 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotics this statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Opiates are essential in severe pain management  cannabis and MDMA, have medicinal benefits in the treatment of a growing number of conditions (e.g. MS, PTSD, Epilepsy). Illegality has made medical trials and acceptance extremely difficult.

 

27. “People who use drugs need treatment not prison.” Another apparently positive statement however, people who use drugs don’t need treatment or prison anymore than someone who has a double espresso each morning, or the person who enjoys a glass of whisky before bedtime needs treatment or prison. Under the umbrella of ‘it’s better than prison’ all sorts of questionable practices can appear palatable.

 

28. “To prevent stigma we need to understand addiction as a disease.”Yes we want to prevent stigma but addiction is not a disease. The most effective way to prevent stigma is to end the drug apartheid and challenge the hypocritical and flawed social construction of ‘drugs’. 

 

29. “Drug laws affect everyone the same.” This is not true. The chances of being stopped, searched, arrested and prosecuted for drug possession depends greatly on the colour of your skin, your social class, age, location and your social background. 

 

30. “If we try hard enough we can eradicate drugs.” A fallacy. Forty years of extremely tough prohibition involving masses of time and money for police, armed forces and customs has had no impact upon supply, price or use. They can’t even keep drugs out of high security prisons.

 

31. “Heroin is a dangerous drug that damages your body.” Any street drug could be very damaging because illegality means the user hasn’t got a clue what’s in it. But clean pharmaceutical heroin (unlike alcohol) doesn’t cause any permanent damage to the body.

 

32. “Crack cocaine in pregnancy leads to permanently damaged ‘crack’ babies.” There is no consistent evidence to support this claim. Longitudinal studies, indicate severe and enduring poverty appears to be the most significant factor that thwarts child progress and development, not parental crack cocaine use during pregnancy. So instead of emotively and inaccurately, focusing upon ‘crack babies’, it would be more appropriate to direct attention towards the plight of ‘poverty babies’. 

 

33. “Drug testing will help identify people who have a drug problem.”  Besides its unreliability – at best drug testing only indicates drug presence, it provides no indication of the pattern, time, place, reason or context of drug use. A positive result indicates drug use not problematic use.

 

34. “Law enforcement targets the most dangerous drugs.” Untrue, arrests and drug seizures for cannabis outnumber all the other drugs arrests combined. The war between drugs is largely a war on the relatively benign cannabis while the significantly more dangerous drug alcohol is enjoyed and promoted amongst law enforcement officials.

 

35. “People caught with cannabis don’t end up in prison.” Untrue, many certainly do.

 

36. “Drug law enforcement targets people who use drugs.” Levels of drug use across the white and black population are similar. However it depends upon the colour of your skin and your social status as to whether you will be targeted. If you are poor and have a minority ethnic heritage you are much more likely to be targeted – stopped, searched, arrested, prosecuted and subsequently sentenced – for drug defined crime. 

 

37. “Heroin during pregnancy will cause permanent harm to the unborn child.” Street heroin is a problem because you don’t know what’s in it. But clean pharmaceutical heroin causes no known permanent damage to a baby. Once recovered from withdrawal symptoms babies will have no permanent harm. However, alcohol taken during pregnancy can cause Foetal Alcohol Syndrome – a permanent condition.

 

38. “A drug free world is desirable.” Drugs have been used since records began for pain relief, treating sickness, for relaxation and social reasons. Alcohol, caffeine, tobacco are drugs and arguably cocoa, sugar and fat too. A world without drugs is unthinkable, undesirable and untenable.

 

39. “Illegal drugs kill people.” This is misleading because the majority of drug deaths are consequences of prohibition and a draconian drug policy that makes taking drugs uncertain and more dangerous and getting help risky. A lot of deaths could have otherwise been avoided. 

 

40. “Drug policy is based upon the best available evidence.” For decades research reports, reviews, inquiries, expert groups have provided mountain loads of evidence – but drug policy has repeatedly ignored the best available evidence and instead continued to uphold the principles of prohibition enshrined in the 1961 UN Single Convention. Drug policy is rooted in ideological beliefs and an attempt to seize the moral high ground, rather than science and evidence.

 

41. “It’s a war on drugs.”  Untrue drugs have never been more accommodated, integrated or promoted. There is no war on alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, sugar, fat or BigPharma drugs.  It is a war on particular drugs that have been outlawed for political, social and economic reasons (not pharmacological or scientific reasons). It’s a ‘War Between Drugs’ enforced by an uncompromisingly tough Drug Apartheid.

 

42. “Regulation is the way forward.” Ideally, but it depends upon whatregulation looks like. Not if that regulation (as illustrated in the New Zealand Psychoactive Substance Act 2013) means: you are now prohibited and punished for possession of substances not approved by the state (s.71 $500 fine); supply carries a 2 year prison sentence (s.70); all new psychoactive substances not listed in the Misuse of Drugs Act are automatically prohibited and the only way of acquiring ‘approved’ substances is through BigPharma or BigBusiness.

 

43. “Every day drug free is a another day of being clean.”  This is misleading, is anyone ever (and should they be?) drug free because we take caffeine, sugar, cocoa, aspirin, alcohol?  More importantly this statement wrongly insinuates taking a drug is wrong and dirty and without them we become ‘clean’.

 

44. “Alcohol occupies so much police time – imagine how bad it’d be if we legalise cannabis.”  There is no comparison these are two  different substances that impact behaviour very differently. It is rare for anyone on cannabis to be argumentative, aggressive and violent, unfortunately the same cannot be said for alcohol. It’s like saying we’ve seen the damaged caused by  boxing imagine how bad it’d be if we legalised tennis.

 

45. “Legalising drugs is dangerous because more people will use drugs.”  In countries where drugs have been legalised or decriminalised there has not been any overall increase in drug use. However, it is dangerous and problematic drug use that should concern us not drug use per se. People who are currently using unknown (purity, toxicity, ingredients, strength) street drugs and risking a criminal record will be in a much safer position.

 

46. “Cannabis use by drivers is leading to more deaths on the road.” Unfounded. There is evidence that cannabis is increasingly found in blood samples but this presence of cannabis in the blood stream could arise from use of cannabis days, weeks even months ago. Drug presence doesn’t mean impairment.

 

47. “Every drug death is further evidence of the dangers of drugs.”  Most drug deaths are a by-product of draconian drug policy that could be avoided by a combination of decriminalisation, legalisation, naloxone distribution, safer drug use education, heroin assisted treatments, drug testing kits, drug consumption rooms and less intolerance and stigma.

 

48. “The underground criminal business in drugs is enormous so we need tougher law enforcement.” Unfortunately, it is prohibition that has created these conditions in the first instance, more enforcement can only be expected to further increase the power and wealth of the criminal cartels and increase violence. However, regulation and decriminalisation would make a real positive difference significantly reducing the underground illegal drug business.

 

49. “Better that someone goes to Drug Court than prison.” Anything can appear palatable and justified if presented as an alternative to prison. For the overwhelming majority of non-problematic drug users, coercive treatment is pointless, expensive, and unethical. For the small minority of problematic users, better that people who need help can access that help in the community, following a thorough assessment, and a best-fit treatment plan that has access to a full range of services, rather than having to access an enforced abstinence 12 step programmes through the criminal justice system.

 

50. “The world would be a better place without drugs.” Drugs are vital in medicine and pain relief, they are also important for relaxing, sleeping, socialising, providing energy, thinking laterally, creatively and artistically. Legal drugs alcohol, caffeine and tobacco are used for these purposes every day, although other (currently illegal) drugs might be safer and better suited.

 

51. “People grow out of taking drugs.”  While there is evidence that people grow out of criminal activity, the use of prohibited drugs involves criminal risks, so if there is a shift away from illegal drugs at a later age it’s not necessarily the case that people are ‘growing out of drugs’, but perhaps, over time, they learn to avoid the associated criminal associations. There is no evidence people grow out of using the drugs alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.

 

52. “If strong evidence is provided drug laws will change  Strong reliable evidence is crucial to develop effective drug laws, but most advanced capitalist countries show little sign of being influenced by science and evidence. Instead they seem committed to an ideologically driven position to maintain the privilege of legal drugs by demonising all illicit drugs regardless of the harms caused.

 

53. “Society needs to learn to accept drug use  With the massive range of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine products combined with the ever increasing range of BigPharma drugs there is no doubt society already fully accepts, embraces and engages in drug use – on a daily basis! So this statement is misleading and feeds into the faulty thinking that fails to acknowledge legal substances as drug use. Society needs to learn to understand we are operating within a drug apartheid.

 

54. “There is no cure for addiction  Addiction is essentially a social and psychological condition, rooted in patterns of thinking, behaviour and lifestyle that’s got out of control. It’s not an incurable disease from which people never recover and are forced to live in ‘recovery’. The vast majority of people who become dependent successfully regain control, most of them without professional help. The large numbers who have quit smoking are a good example.

 

55. “The only place for taking drugs is in medicine  It is a position you could hold for yourself, but it’s an extreme position that would mean no tea, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, fizzy drinks, sweets or cakes, most breakfast cereals etc (avoiding the drugs; alcohol, caffeine and sugar).  It’s akin to saying the only acceptable reason for consuming food is to keep us healthy. Pleasure, relaxing, getting more energy,  feeling sleepy or enhancing our senses are not unreasonable motivations for taking food or substances.

 

56. “Drugs like cannabis are illegal  As a result of the 1961 UN Single Convention signature countries have made possession and cultivation of certain substances listed in the Convention a criminal offence. However, the substances themselves are not illegal, which raises the question that if plants like cannabis, coca and the opium poppy are not illegal on what basis can or should the police and armed forces search the countryside to dig up or destroy uncultivated plants.

 

Source

By Julian Buchanan http://julianbuchanan.wordpress.com/blogs-2/

Hemp Homes Growing In The Ashes Of Burning Shacks

South Africa government is able to construct 10 hemp homes for the cost of convicting every 2nd dagga offender & nobody’s questioning why people still live in shacks.

Almost sounds too good to be true but in this case is absolutely plausible.

Recently at an international law enforcement conference, held in Cape Town,  activist Julian Stobbs, from the Dagga Couple pointed out that the cost to the state for arresting, prosecuting and applying correctional sanctions in respect of each dagga offender stood somewhere around R240 000.

This ultimately mean we are jailing people for choosing dagga over alcohol and tobacco at the expense of the homeless.

Let us rebuild the rainbow nation in a green revolution.

Youtube Video from Associated Press an American news agency featuring the R50 000 hemp home built by Tony Budden from Hemporium SA

Sources

High cost of SA’s anti-dagga laws

Post Apartheid Struggle; Hemp Homes Save The Homeless

Dark Christmas Expected For South Africa #LoadShedding

UPDATE: The Duvha turbine incident occurred in 2011 and has gone viral over the last few days as angry South African are facing the possibility of a national black-out.

A turbine at the Duhva power station exploded, in a failed attempt to test a safety feature.

Duvha Power Station in Mpumalanga, South Africa, is a coal-fired power plant operated by Eskom. The 300 metres (980 ft) tall chimneys at Duvha are the second and third tallest structures in Africa

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These are not ventilation holes. This is where pieces of the turbine went through like bullets as it disintegrated.
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Massive piece of the turbine shaft surrounded by destruction.
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Total carnage! More pieces of the turbine shaft lay strewn across the power plant.

Sweeping the bullshit as well as the taxpayer’s money under the carpet!!

Not really intended for the public, BUT, amazing how pics like these can get out even after Eskom put a blanket of secrecy around the whole incident. Eskom like hiding stuff like this?

So I found out what happened at Duhva power station and the busted turbine.
They were doing a test of the turbine overspeed protection system, and in short, the protection did not kick in. Conventional wisdom tells me that there should be a better way to test a protection system than to try and destroy the turbine and see if it feels like protecting itself, but that’s basically what they did.

The turbine has a governor valve which controls the amount of steam coming into the turbine In order to keep it running at the right speed (3000 rpm for our grid frequency) and then it has a main isolation valve to shut the steam off completely. The protections systems (of which there are 3 independent systems, and a dude with his finger on the emergency button) are supposed to close this main isolation valve in a fraction of a second when the turbine over speeds.

So they get ready for the test, they dump a helluva lot of steam onto the turbine, speed starts going crazy, it went from 3000 RPM to 4500 RMP in ten seconds (they are generally only designed for 10 to 15% over speed, all three protection systems should have kicked in by the time you get to 110%). Anyway, I don’t know why, but all three systems failed, and the dude with his finger on the manual trip button wasn’t at his post. So the result was a big bang, some fire and a lot of steam going where it shouldn’t go.

Scary thing is Duvha has a shared turbine hall. All six units are placed in one long straight stripe, with no missile shield between them. And if you look at the third pic you can see how big that shaft is, if that landed on another turbine it would have destroyed that too. They are very lucky they didn’t lose the entire station.

So anyway, what gets reported in the news? “Unforeseen maintenance” at one of the units at Duvha requires it to remain shut down for 18 months. understatement of the century in my book. But you shut off the containment ventilation system at Koeberg for one hour and a radiation alarm goes off, then it’s a front page news national crisis. I give up.

Article content & images By Cobus Viljoen

Other Sources:
RidgeTimes 6 Dec 2014

MyBroadband

Eskom blames lightning for loadshedding blues

Non-Poor Only: Soccer Banned At City Park

The City of Cape Town has placed boulders on the field adjacent to the Trafalgar Pool in Woodstock to prevent soccer games from taking place.

The area is an open public space which is used by residents of Woodstock and Walmer Estate. The area is supposed to form part of a green belt, and has been used informally for many years by both adults and children from the community who are being punished and are at risk of injury at night said the chairman of the Walmer Estate Concerned Residents Forum.

However the Mayoral Committee member for Community Safety and Special Projects claims that the rocks were introduced to prevent formal games of soccer from taking place and that clubs should instead pay to use one of the City’s formal sports fields.

As usual residents were neither consulted nor informed of the decision and many believe that the area is being targeted by property developers who have also been responsible for recent evictions in the surrounding area.

Source
http://xcollektiv.wordpress.com/stickers/

Medicine Control Council Gets The Boot

Medical dagga may soon be at our door step. Dagga dealers are out, new kids on the block – New bill kicks the MCC to the curb to establish new authority…

“The Medicines Control Council needs a new chairperson and a new registrar. Peter Eagles (the chair) and Mandisa Hela (the registrar) need to go.” – Nathan Geffen

The 5th of November 2014 marked the 3rd day of public hearings, held at the National Assembly, regarding new legislation that seek to replace the Medicines Control Council with a new authority on medicines and related substances.

The Medicines & Related Substances Amendment Bill [B6-2014] will establish a new regulatory body, called the South African Health Product Regulatory Authority, that will oversee medicines, medical devices and food stuffs.

The bill is now in a secondary stage of being processed. Public hearings are being held at the National Assembly level. It has yet to go through a third stage overseen by the national council of provinces before it can be signed into law by the president.

Medical cannabis may be at our door step

At this stage we do not have enough information available to say whether the new regulatory body will introduce medical dagga into South Africa.

One thing is certain amendments will need to be made to the Drug & Trafficking Act, and other acts of law, to enable the new authority to venture into the business of alternative dagga medication and marijuana health products such as medicated edibles.

Amendments made to the Drug & Trafficking Act earlier in 2014 have made all cannabinoids illegal effectively making dagga extracts illegal on a biological level.

The Medical Innovation Bill, set in motion by late Dr Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, may pave a way for a single dagga license to be issued to a sole corporate body for the purpose of producing legal commercialised dagga for medical and industrial applications.

While we drown in the red tape and bad legislation, South African medical dagga patients are in despair as they are facing a national medical dagga crisis.

Medical Dagga Informant 😛

Special shout-out to @ZARKA_THC who made us aware of the Bill.

Sources

SA step closer to new medicines regulator

Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill PDF

Medicines Control Council needs new leaders

AgriSA Parlaimentary Update 19 Aug 2014

Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill (B6-2014)

10 Western Cape Cops Arrested For Corruption

Parow police officers allegedly took money from “dagga” suspects and and stole evidence.

 

Hypothesis

There is no information relating to the crimes available at the moment. However it would be wise not to rule out that these officers may have taken bribes from daggafarians and others.

Generally many police officers may feel that dagga is a petty crime. They then may use unjust dagga laws for self gain by taking money from users, dagga peddlers and also confiscate their dagga supply to resell to their designated and protected dealers whom they receive kick-back from.

Unconfirmed

Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer said earlier today, “I think what’s important is the details of the investigation which we cannot discuss now because we’re still busy following up on some information to finalise the investigation. The members haven’t appeared in court yet.”

We will keep you posted as more information is made available.

 

Source

Other Sources