Jump to content
The Corroboree
Jesus On Peyote

Legalizing Salvia D

Recommended Posts

Ahhh ok tantra get you about the harm not meaning just physical, but its the same deal. The legislation is all based on ideology, so while we know how damaging physically, emotionally, socially and financially alcohol and tobacco are, particularly relative to the other ancient drugs you mentioned (if we were being totally honest about this we'd mention that they have both been around for a long time before the west started abusing them) but things like iboga, which are now being investigated for use as anti-addiction agents, pose such smaller risk to society and the individual, yet they are banned.

It is simply the ideology based on the long stood notion of druggies being scum, and the fact that alcohol and tobacco have been accepted by western culture for longer than the other drugs have had the chance to be, and because the drug stigma now exists they will never passively have the chance to become accepted...because they were banned before they had the chance.

The problem is that politicians are supposed to be making informed decisions for the good of the public, when in fact they are making choices biased by their own beliefs and their own want for public support and votes, and since their own beliefs on drugs correspond well with the general public's (not the whole population obviously), they can kill two birds (their personal agenda and their want for votes) with one ignorant and often underinformed stone (legislation).

As far as religion is concerned...I don't really see how it comes into the argument at all, any creation-oriented religion with only one creator (i.e christianity) should be against the legislation of plants because they are of god's work and as such we as men, and as god's children, should not outlaw them as we do not have the godly right to do so.

Any religion where an 'evil' god was involved in creation, or may have created something, or if a good god created something bad, then might claim 'drug' plants to be of that god and as such they are against the religion.

Peace,

Mind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[depression etc in our society is often because our society is sick not necessarily the individual.]

Amen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great articles on the other thread yeti, the one on scale looks great (just read abstracts, not much time right now). I was thinking of writing up a survey on drug use and distributing it via facebook, myspace and other similar sites. Then use SPSS to look at the data. I thought I'd ask though, it might be a bit out of reach or pointless but I was thinking questions about what drugs, how often, if the current legal status of the drugs bother those who use, if they think they would use more if the drug was available from a pharmacy, if they would go to illegal dealers if they were restricted to a certain number of doses in the month etc., if they have ever been presented with safe use advice, if they have ever sought safe use advice, why they use, where they use, and give a form of the Fagerstrom test to assess addiction to a certain degree.

Any comments on that as an idea?

Peace,

Mind

Good idea. It's not 'hard science' but it could easily produce some quality indicators of current opinions to drug policy amongst a fairly wide cross-section (depending on how it's distributed) of the population (mainly youth). Incidentally, a friend of mine is currently completing an anthropological assessment of drug use in Sydney. Hopefully that should near completion soon--I'll be sure to keep you guys posted.

who was talking physical harm?i meant not dangerous in any/all senses and especially not dangerous to the society.

peyote using societies were happy enough with peyote to fight for its legalisation.

shroom and salvia using groups in mexico had no issues with their plants, keeping them secret until last century.

iboga using societies still use iboga.

likewise ayahausca is still being used with no problems.

sometimes these societies assumed the images of christianity to keep their entheogen use as that was more valuable to them than mere imagery.

or if you like the entheogens were found to work just as well with christianity as with their previous belief systems.

prob not expessing myself well but do you see my drift..............the societies using entheogens dont have trouble with them, its a construct.

and this use has often been continuous for thousands of years without problems.the societies using entheogens are happy with them!

one of the big thing about drugs being illegal is it places people outside of the support of society.i believe a society which includes and supports its drug users has less problems than one which makes them outcastes hiding their issues.

[depression etc in our society is often because our society is sick not necessarily the individual.]

t s t .

Good points. Social stigma leads to alienation of a certain group, which frequently serves to further divide said group from society as a whole. There is no real infrastructure are present to deal with any of the problems associated with illegal drug use; if there was, many of the problems would be solved.

Both Ayahuasca (Peru) and iboga (Gabon) are currently held to be of national importance in their respective countries. Andrew Weil (Natural Medicine, 1964?) argues that native groups rarely have problems with their traditional innebriants because they are an integrated part of their community life. He also mentions that their practice of using plant material instead of super-potent raw chemical extracts are also a contributing factor to their management of drug use.

Additionally, I found a 2007 newsletter from an organisation called 'Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform' which comments on the economic costs of drug prohibition.

ABSTRACT

Ten years ago, Access Economics estimated the untaxed turnover of illicit drugs in Australia as $7 billion which placed it between tobacco ($4.2 billion) and gambling ($9.6). Not long after, a University of Western Australia study estimated that the annual expenditure on cannabis alone, the most widely used illicit drug, was $5.072 billion.

Link

And from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority:

(a) Financial muscle of organised crime

The size of the trade in illicit drugs, “currently the most lucrative commodities for organised crime in Australia” (NCA Commentary 2001, p. 20), gives an idea of the resources involved. In 1998 the Prime Minister described that trade as “an international, multi-billion dollar enterprise with its undisclosed and untaxed profits rivalled by few industries. Estimates of the size of the illicit drug trade range from US $300-$500 billion [in] the United States per annum” (Howard (1998)). Access Economics in 1997 estimated the annual turnover of the Australian illicit drug industry to be $7 billion (Access Economics (1997) pp. 14-18). The figure is probably much higher. A study by the University of Western Australia estimated that annual expenditure in 1995 on cannabis alone was $5.072 billion (Clements & Daryl, (1999)). The NCA makes the obvious point that profit is behind organised crime:

“Profit drives organised criminals. The United Nations has assessed the global illicit drug trade as the third most profitable industry in the world, surpassed only by the oil and arms industries. Illegal immigration rackets worldwide are estimated to be worth $10 billion annually to organised people smuggling syndicates. In Australia, the total figure of crime related costs is estimated to be equivalent to about 4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or $1,000 per capita, per annum” (NCA Commentary 2001, p. 15).

Link

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought a little info might be garnished from the Drug War Facts website should someone be interested in having a gander.

I think Common Sense For Drug Policy might have already been mentioned, but I added a link there anyway. There is also heaps of links to Reform Websites here as well where I'm sure there'd be a huge amount of information that could be used to fuel change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice links Ace, not surprising that most of the sites listed on common sense for drug policy are amercian. The 'Drug war facts' book looks like an interesting read. Holiday reading me thinks.

Peace and thanks,

Mind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great links Ace & JD. It's a pity there isn't more specifically Australian content out there though. The Family and Friends for Drug Law Reform http://www.ffdlr.org.au/ are worth a look, though I'm not sure how much of what they have is applicable to us.

If anyone has their heart set on pursuing the religious angle I'd recommend they start with "Do Drugs Have Religious Import?" http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/lsd/hsmith.htm I don't know how much of it would convince a politician, but it's a good read nonetheless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think based on new support (from Torsten who appears to have been given a copy of the prompt) everyone interested should check this thread out:

Court Case

Peace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done guys, I havent been on long enough to post for abit, but i like where this thread has gone.

Ill start compiling some studies focused on different plants,their uses and stuff like that until we get more organized.

Good links everyone, ima have a good read of em soon and nice going on the other thread yeti.

Peace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found this group tonight via Susan Blackmore's page - Transform Drug Policy Foundation http://www.tdpf.org.uk/

I know it's UK based, and their views or aims may not reflect our own (like I even know what they are!) But based on my brief look at the site, I think they have some good resources. They have an impressive list of patrons and supporters that includes a few MP's so they must be doing something right. I particularly like the pages where they list the drug policies of all the political parties, the 'what you can do' page and pretty much everything else. Their research links could stand to be more comprehensive though. One of their publications: "After the War on Drugs: Tools for the debate " has a stack of tips and tricks that would come in handy when arguing for reform - http://www.tdpf.org.uk/Tools_For_The%20Debate.pdf

I haven't decided if their stuff is worth putting the serious articles etc thread, but I'd encourage people to have a look.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ended up discussing drug legislation at uni today, got on my soapbox...

Just thought I'd summarise a few important issues.

Two members were given the chance to choose between a harm minimisation policy or harsher restrictions to curb drug use. To my astonishment (don;t suppose I should be too surprised) they chose tougher restrictions. When I told them that the people using now for the most part didn't care anyway, and pointed out the single effect of the 3 strike policy in USA being a filling of prisons, they replied with 'but tougher penalties will make people not want to take the risk.' So I had to explain again. Then everyone got involved. The discussion was originally about ecstacy, so it got back to that, and I discussed the arguments i had for legalisation of ecstacy, and later clarified that I felt the same about drugs in general were that it would mean quality control, dose control, greater freedom for the government to educate without being seen as 'soft on drugs', money out of the hands of people who may be involved in other criminal activities, less isolation of users and addicts possibly leading to less personal consequences of addiction and an easier ability to seek support, greater opportunity to research the effects of the drug and possible non-recreational uses of the drug (didnt mention this one but just thought of it now so eh).

Some of the major arguments some of them had against the idea were:

1. Use would go up.

To this I mentioned the research that has been mentioned by T about what has happened in other countries...couldn't answer specifics though because I didn't have much specific info about it, would love to see some links or be pointed in the right direction to find out more about that stuff.

2. People who would otherwise have been using something like MDMA, may just 'work their way up the shelf' as it was put (making the analogy to some sort of candy shop?), to something like meth.

To this I said, the people who want to use something like meth, can get it now anyway, nothing is hard to get hold of if you really want it, this way they would be getting pure product, not being ripped off because they are first timers, and they can get proper education and make an educated decision.

3. The fact that you would have to draw a line between what drugs to legalise and what not to.

I disagreed, stating that it would be an improvement to legalise all drugs vs the current situation.

4. Setting up infrastructure to facilitate the legalisation of the substances would be costly, and time intensive. (infrastructure being manufacture, where to sell, how to sell, to whom to sell, how much, who watches it etc etc)

I argued that the infrastructure is already in place. We have pharmacies, with trained pharmacists, we have massive scale drug production facilities, and for the money that could be earned from this massive market (probably bigger than nearly all drug markets aside from common painkillers, cough medicine etc) and at say $20 a pill for MDMA, profits would be enourmous. And with money from tax, and diverted money from the old 'war on drugs' fund, the infrastructure costs would no doubt be covered, and if not, it would come very close. The difference in cost easily made up for by the improvement in the social conditions.

To me it also seemed like they were somewhat naive about the prevalence of drug use...but the only person in my class who i've known since before uni started commented that maybe it was just my friends???

Do we all think drug use is more prevalent than it is because we may be involved in it....IMO no, 4.5 tonne bust and did MDMA prices rise? I wouldn't know but I suspect the answer is no. So as someone titled the thread about that bust 'who likes drugs? Australia likes drugs', a true statement.

It was an interesting discussion, and there is at least one more to come.

Peace,

Mind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You sound like you are on the right track Mind. It is important to challenge people's assumptions on these sort of issues.

1. Use would go up.
Evidence regarding the Netherlands seems to contradict this. Certainly they have less cannabis use documented in children than the UK and many other OECD countries. Want a reference?

UNICEF, Child poverty in perspective:

An overview of child well-being in rich countries,

Innocenti Report Card 7, 2007

UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence.

It's on Sec1:30 (page32 of 52)

13_02_07_nn_unicef.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent, cool. Can this be translated to the situation we face though?

Was MJ/mushrooms ever illegal there? I mean, from what I just read it looks like they are still illegal there, because they signed the two UN treaties on drugs which dictate that drug use and posession must be a criminal offence, but don't say that it was to be enforced. (Could be wrong, just read wiki).Anyway, seems like a slightly different situation, although the figures of 'soft drug' use they show seem quite good relative to america/UK (not so much the other western European countries.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Excellent, cool. Can this be translated to the situation we face though?
I don't know. What this can show is that relaxation of laws on a drug do not necessarily lead to an increase in consumption. If you can force someone to admit that "soft laws = more use" is not always true, then they have to deal with specific circumstances and (heaven forbid) actual evidence rather than empty rhetoric. It isn't an analogous situation, but it is an effective argumentative move.

They want people to believe them when they say "If laws are soft then usage will rise" or "If laws are not soft then usage will not rise" and we should seek to cast doubt on the universality of these claims.

For Salvia, I have no idea how it's criminalisation has altered consumption rates. I would assume that they have dropped, but where is the data? Where was the data to show that a lot of people were using it (and being harmed by it) in the first place? If you get away from sweeping statements, then you can ask those questions and our opponents are not going to have convincing answers to them. I mean, if there was no evidence that many people were using, and no evidence that it caused problems for those who did, and making it illegal doesn't guarantee that it will be used less, then what was the whole exercise about? Sure, it could be dangerous, but how do you compare "could possibly be dangerous" (Salvia) with "known to be very dangerous" (Alcohol)? Do they have an estimate on what would happen if as many people took Salvia as drink booze? I'd say not.

We had a freedom taken away for no reason other than to make us less free and that is what I'd like to show.

Was MJ/mushrooms ever illegal there? I mean, from what I just read it looks like they are still illegal there, because they signed the two UN treaties on drugs which dictate that drug use and possession must be a criminal offense, but don't say that it was to be enforced.
I have to admit that I don't entirely understand the subtleties of this system myself. But the situation allowing the coffee shops to sell MJ officially started in 1976 (I think), and it the rate of use of MJ didn't start to rise until something like 8 years later. Given that rates of usage are higher in other countries with stricter laws, it's hard to find a relationship between the two things.

Undermining the connection between tough laws and reduced usage is only part of the battle. We also need to show that the level of harm involved is not reason enough to prohibit it or even that harm (real or potential) is not always the relevant factor in prohibiting something (I'll write more on that thought later).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And every study, whether it's the Netherlands, US States with legal medical use, Australian states with decrim, the UK downgrade to class C.... all of the studies of usage patterns demonstrates that usages goes DOWN, consistently.

Netherlands rates went up at the same time as the rest of the world, it's cyclical and trend driven. They are still significantly below the rest of Europe, but you'd also have to take into account the regional "forbidden fruit" effect of having ready access across the border. The Dutch natives don't use more, but maybe that is having a subtle effect on surrounding countries where it is still illegal. What would be interesting is to see one of their neighbours regulate (how far did Belgium get? They were talking about it a few years ago, maybe just decrim?). For Australia and US States you're largely ruling out "drug tourism" as it's still illegal in both jurisdictions, there's still significant risk of punishment and imprisionment.

So it seems pretty unlikely that this effect can be explained away - usage goes down when you regulate. As long as people have access to accurate health information, as modern society now enjoys. You see precisely the same downwards trend with tobacco.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers for that niall+yeti.

Just posted some info in the other thread for this discussion, the one yeti started.

What about putting pressure on the gov via drug companies. Gov's can easily write off individuals, groups, and even organisations like the one we were talking about.

But a big pharmo company like Pfizer and the likes could probably put major pressure on the gov. If you went to them with a good detailed report on the social and FINANCIAL aspects of legalisation, and showed them just how much they could earn, AND how it would help society, they may well be inclined to change their mind on the issue because they have an incentive, then they could lean on the gov.

Just an idea.

Peace,

Mind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Netherlands rates went up at the same time as the rest of the world, it's cyclical and trend driven.
I think I've seen the same graph as you - the relative level of use in the US was signifigantly higher than the Netherlands, but the shape of the trends in both countries was identical. That's one of those things: If a movement in society is large enough, it has so much inertia that not even hostile laws stop people from doing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But a big pharmo company like Pfizer and the likes could probably put major pressure on the gov. If you went to them with a good detailed report on the social and FINANCIAL aspects of legalisation, and showed them just how much they could earn, AND how it would help society, they may well be inclined to change their mind on the issue because they have an incentive, then they could lean on the gov.
I think we have to ask ourselves if drug companies have not considered this already. Given that they would seek first and foremost to maximise profit, I'd say that if they thought legalisation was more profitable, they would have tried already. And besides, for there even to be a chance of this being worthwhile for them, the US market would have to be available. Developing new drugs or new markets for existing drugs costs money, whereas doing the same thing as usual costs much less. There is also the risk of a ideological backlash from conservative shareholders. If you were going to explore this piece of the puzzle, I'd be clear on what possible outcome you are driving at. Some reform-minded people think that a situation where large companies could aggressively market recreational substances with minimal regulation could be as damaging as our current one.

With that in mind though, I'd love for some economically minded person to run the numbers and see what comes out. Even if all you could show is that they would not lose money under a different system of legislation/regulation that would be a great help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cannabis use in arnham land ,think it was' living black' 6.00 this wed sbs.........teev on in background.....needs confirmation.......

t s t .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey all.

Had a lecture today then continued to have a walk and talk with the lecturer.

He is Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at a large Sydney hospital and is active in the public health side of drug legislation.

We talked about many things and I'll mention a few interesting things.

A) America's stupidity. The following figures will amaze you (well they amazed me).

Australia's needle programs give out 32M needles a year.

America's, which don't get federal funding (heres hoping Obama gets in because his policy includes funding for needle exchanges) give out 20-25M a year. America's population is around 300M, where as ours is 21M.

And they wonder why AIDS is such an epidemic there (given that 30% of AIDS cases outside sub-saharan Africa can be attributed to drug injection).

Also, it was encouraging to hear that America's approach to drugs is now shared by only a few, the majority of the world is moving to harm minimisation (we changed policy in 1985). I liked something he said, 'The word usually changes by evolution, not revolution' and he made the point that only 20 years ago same sex intercourse was illegal. Now, to me, and I'm probably among the younger members here but I'm guessing most share my opinion, that seems ridiculous. He applied this idea to drugs also, saying that people are more and more viewing drug use a personal decision, he made the distinction that someone robbing a bank to pay for their habbit was not on, but that this applied not just to illicit drugs, but that someone sitting at home, shooting up or smoking up or whatever, was their business and their choice, just as homosexual sex is the choice of the individuals. So essentially it seemed to be his opinion that the winds are changing, and for the better. It was also nice to see that he shared many of the views on substances we have talked about here, particularly regarding the negatives of current legislation.

B ) The cost of drugs.

Australia spends 56B a year on drugs (including tobacco and alcohol). This figure includes ALL costs of drugs, law enforcement, education, medical care etc. Where figures aren't available they assume a cost of 0, so it is likely that this figure is an underestimate.

This is composed of 31.5B for tobacco, 15.3B for alcohol, and 9.2B for illicit drugs. Remember that this is INCLUDING LAW ENFORCEMENT. So what does that say about how relatively low the other costs of illicit drugs are (talking strictly financially). When I get some time I might run some numbers estimating how much money could be made by selling currently illicit drugs, based on the 2007 NDS use figures. Only problem being I've no idea how much they actually cost to produce. Anyone who knows PM me, or I won't be able to do it...that is assuming i could actually do it anyway lol.

I will soon be posting some other good sources of stats and info in Yeti's thread.

One thing that I don't really like is that methamphetmine and amphetamine are blanketed, I thought it was an american thing but apparently the law here considers them the same also. So now everyone in my class will think that speed and base contain the same chemical as 'ice', but simply at different purities. This irritates me.

Peace,

Mind

Edited by MindExpansion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing that I don't really like is that methamphetmine and amphetamine are blanketed, I thought it was an american thing but apparently the law here considers them the same also. So now everyone in my class will think that speed and base contain the same chemical as 'ice', but simply at different purities. This irritates me.

IMO, generally speaking this is true, amphetamine is quite rare these days and when it is around its mostly diverted pharmaceutical grade.

For the layman, 'speed' is cut methamphetamine, 'base/paste/P' is poorly made semi-pure methamphetamine and 'ice' is well made recrystallized pure methamphetamine.

(Ive also heard 'base' is meth base oil soaked on to a cutting agent but I cant confirm or deny it but find it unlikely)

Again IMO, this has been the case since the mid-late 90's

I can understand why the law would group them together even if the amphetamine is less physically/mentally assaultive and less potent they are both essential the same and if taken in large enough doses it will create the same side effects.

Slang is a language of the present, is changes over time, what it means yesterday may not be the same as today or tomorrow.

For example, 'speed' or 'louie' used to mean cut amphetamine now it means cut methamphetamine, 'pure' used to mean high quality or recrystalized amphet or meth now its called 'ice', 'base' used to mean freebased cocaine now it means medium-poor quality semi pure meth, etc. etc.

I could keep going but you get the idea, its what people are calling it now that matters.

No doubt I will be corrected for this statement but it is what I believe to be true.

Edited by AndyAmine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Living Black

Marijuana & Depression

Wednesday, 3 September, 2008

High rates of cannabis use in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities continues to worry medical, mental and social workers.

The latest report into marijuana use and depression in Arnhem Land has given experts more reason to be concerned.

This week, Living Black video journalist Drew Ambrose heads to the Arnhem Land community of Maningrida, to meet a man who's promising sporting career has gone up in smoke.

A replay of the program should be accessible via the above link if you miss the screening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy, maybe that is the way it goes, but the people I know refer to amphetamine base/cut as base/speed. It may be the case of where you are/who you're talkin to combined with whta you've said.

Cheers for the notice Legba.

Peace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well thats kind of what Im saying, slang changes from place to place, even from social circle to social circle in the same city/state.

It means what it means to the people using it.

ME, so amphetamine freebase oil is available in your area, thats unusual.

Generaly, unless its pharmaceutical (ie: Dexamphetamine used for ADHD etc) then its very unusual to get amphetamine in Oz because those precursors are used to make mdma these days because it has much higher profit margin and desirability however I guess wiht cold tabs so much harder to get now this may be changing?

Also, because meth/amphetamine freebase is an oil which makes it hard to distribute and measure so it is almost always converted into paste or crystals.

A lot of paste is quite oily and or 'wet' however this is usually due to impure feedstock, partial reaction or poor crystallization.

Obviously this varies from place to place but generally speaking these tend to be the most common situations.

FYI I lived in Melbourne until 8yrs ago so this is where is Im basing my information from, as you say it could be different in other parts of Oz however chemistry is chemistry and money is money no matter where you go.

Lastly, just to clraify, Im not trying to be a know it all or pushy, I just find the subject interesting as it used to be very much a large part of my life and part of my job when working for VIVAIDS and part of my schooling when I was doing my cert in Youth Work and Comm Services.

Edited by AndyAmine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No need to clarify that last bit AA. You undoubtedly have more knowledge on this stuff than me and I'm glad to hear what you have to offer in the hope that I can learn something.

Where I was, the 'base' was usually wet semi-crystal, some very wet, some a bit more crystal. Some was yellow,

and some was red...which a dealer used to call 'ox blood'. I was always sus on it because it was dark dark red...like if they hadn't got all the iodine out from production. I could be well wrong there.

It was fairly common around the place, probably heard more about it than cut speed but I wasn't exactly searching out speed too often so my info is based on the occasional.

Peace,

Mind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×