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NEWS: National spotlight on drugs & mental health 2006

hoptis

Bluelight Crew
Joined
May 1, 2002
Messages
11,086
Location
Melbourne
It's Pyne time again! :\

MP wants all dope smokers convicted
By PHILLIP COOREY
EXCLUSIVE
20 Jan 2006

SOUTH Australia's major political parties have been urged to make the personal use of marijuana a criminal offence as part of their state election agendas.

SA federal Liberal MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Christopher Pyne, said it was time to recriminalise personal cannabis use in SA because of links to mental health problems.

On-the-spot fines for possessing small amounts of cannabis for personal use have applied in SA since 1988.

"It's an illicit drug. The message of decriminalisation is this isn't really a problem," Mr Pyne told The Advertiser yesterday.

With the advent of hydroponics, marijuana today was much stronger than that of the 1980s and people were smoking it from their early teens, he said.

"The states bear a heavy burden because of the rush in the '80s and '90s to decriminalise cannabis laws," Mr Pyne said.

"It's one thing to have tough-on-drugs rhetoric, but the state needs to crack down on the personal use of cannabis.

"They should recriminalise cannabis use in SA."

Prime Minister John Howard recently championed the call, saying "far from embracing further decriminalisation, authorities should be going in the opposite direction". Opposition legal affairs spokesman Rob Lawson yesterday hinted the Liberals would unveil such measures closer to the March 18 state election.

He said the policy would adopt "a tougher and firmer approach" to the current decriminalisation laws in he state.

"We say these laws have not worked," he said.

"We certainly think cannabis laws should be toughened. They're too lenient."

Attorney-General Michael Atkinson said the Rann Government had no plans to change the laws but had considerably strengthened its stance against drug use over the past four years.

The Government had made it a criminal offence to grow even one plant hydroponically and introduced testing and fines for those driving while on drugs.

Fear of being caught driving on drugs would also act as a social deterrent by making people think twice about getting stoned, Mr Atkinson said.

"We've also passed tough, new, serious drug offences targeting drug lords who cultivate, manufacture and traffic drugs, in an effort to combat drug availability," he said.

Mr Atkinson said the Government had also made a considerable gains in drug education.

Personal use of marijuana in SA was decriminalised in 1988 by the then-Bannon Labor government amid concerns small-time users were clogging the courts and receiving criminal records. Initially, a person was allowed a maximum 10 plants in their back yard in return for an on-the-spot fine if busted.

That amount was reduced to one plant by successive governments.

Currently in SA, being caught with one non-hydroponic plant or less than 100g of cannabis attracts a maximum fine of $150.

Having between 100g and 2kg of the drug, or between two and 19 plants, will guarantee a person a court appearance.

Being caught with more means between two and 25 years in prison and fines ranging from $2000 to $500,000.

Mr Pyne will outline his case in a speech to the National Young Liberal Convention in Sydney on Sunday.
From The Advertiser
 

Teddles

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Messages
293
Location
Adelaide
i really love reading the advertiser some times, especially when on drug issues. i feel they really get the full facts across.

i feel like a bit off a dick sometimes cause chirstopher pyne is my elected MP, and i voted for him whoops, his office is just down the road from my house, one day when i'm feeeling real chatty i'm gonna go visit him and let him have it.
 

Jimity

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
3,135
Just what we need. More convicted criminals who cannot get jobs because of theyre record and have to turn to dealing/stealing to get by.

GO CHRISTOPHER PAYNE! YOU'RE #1! YOU'RE #1!


...tool
 

Urbie

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 13, 2005
Messages
329
Just send him some nice batch of canna-cookies, and pay a old lady to give to him, thinking she is just a sweet old lady who supports him, and watch him munching the cookies on one of his "many" coffee breaks.
 

chugs

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 23, 2004
Messages
2,022
What heavy cost is Chris Payne referring to?

Is there any information/stats regarding cannabis induced crime (if there is such a thing) or the cost the health system has to bear for cannabis related medical issues?

For that matter why should Chris Payne care about the health costs. His government was responsible for stripping and destroying the mental health system.....

it's more then obvious though that Chris Payne simply uses the drug issues to escalate his profile and obtain media exposure
 

tiptop

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
139
SA federal Liberal MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Christopher Pyne, said it was time to recriminalise personal cannabis use in SA because of links to mental health problems

i thought that was a lol when i read that at work today
 

hoptis

Bluelight Crew
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May 1, 2002
Messages
11,086
Location
Melbourne
Drug idea 'dopey'
21 Jan 2006

THE Democrats have labelled calls by federal Liberal MP Christopher Pyne to recriminalise marijuana as "dopey".

Mr Pyne, Parliamentary Secretary for Health, wants the issue on the agenda for the March 18 state election.

But Democrats leader Sandra Kanck said the move would damage career prospects of marijuana users.
From The Advertiser
 

hoptis

Bluelight Crew
Joined
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Messages
11,086
Location
Melbourne
Get tough on pot, says Smart
31 Jan 2006

LIBERAL candidate Nigel Smart has called on the State Government to "get tough" on cannabis, saying it should increase penalties for use and possession of the drug.

Mr Smart, the candidate for Norwood and former Crows footballer, said AFL players caught with cannabis were instantly banned for up to 12 months and faced public humiliation. "Yet in the wider South Australian community, offenders get little more than a smack on the wrist," he said.

"Since 1987, we've had $50 on-the-spot fines for smoking or possessing cannabis, but this is less than even the $75 fine for smoking tobacco in an enclosed place." He wants a fivefold increase in penalties.
From The Advertiser
 

static_mind

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
1,380
So 500 bucks for haveing weed in public....id probably go out and destory that value worth of governemnt stuff. Il probably get flamed for that
 

Flexistentialist

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Joined
Jun 24, 2002
Messages
1,742
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.au
Why is there all this crap about increasing penalties for cannabis possession when rates of pot smoking have been going down? There's no evidence at all to support the notion that increased penalties = decreased use. But this is about politics not real evidence.
 

Tronica

Director of Research
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
2,251
Location
Castlemaine, Australia
You are right, there really isn't much evidence that increased penalties = decreased use. Only if penalties are reasonably likely to occur will use be affected, and for a reasonably private behaviour like smoking pot, this would be difficult to achieve unless we had serious violations of our private spaces (aka 1984).

My honours thesis actually examined the possible effects of the WA decriminalisation on how cannabis users obtain cannabis, ie, will the new laws change whether people will buy more/less, grow more/less plants, change growing methods. We didn't find that the laws would have much effect - apart from meaning that the majority of people in the study would find their current behaviour would attract a fine rather than conviction under new laws. Good for their careers/travel plans to not have to worry about possible conviction.

See this article
 

Fin_heaven

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
40
I wonder if the next step Mr Pyne is going to take is to get tougher on alcohol and tobacco abuse. Clearly they create more health problems than pot ever will. But we all know that will never happen because Mr Pyne relies on the chegue he receives in the mail from these companies to run his electorate.

Nigel Smart the bald headed fuck should stick to what he was good at, getting smacked around by opposition teams. What makes these idiots think that they're good/smart enough to go into politics? He played football for a living for christ sakes!

Enough of this shit. It seems again us pot smokers have been targeted by politicians after easy grandma votes. Congratulations you fuckwit Pyne!
 

1984

Bluelighter
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
120
Location
sydney
this is the guy that told us "illicit drugs kill more than alcohol and tobacco put together"...

and that its o.k anyway because its legal...

hypocrite...
 

xcidium

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
6,653
Location
Perth
Wow, coming into the Aus DD today and there's all these Marijuana news related threads.
Seems weed is this months target drug people! Beware stoners.

Also, I'd like to see some figures to back this up "With the advent of hydroponics, marijuana today was much stronger than that of the 1980s and people were smoking it from their early teens, he said."
 

peaked

Bluelighter
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Messages
711
Fin_heaven said:
Nigel Smart the bald headed fuck should stick to what he was good at, getting smacked around by opposition teams. What makes these idiots think that they're good/smart enough to go into politics? He played football for a living for christ sakes!
Whats even worse is that some people will vote for him solely because of his past football career. I think its ridiculous he's even allowed into politics.
 

hoptis

Bluelight Crew
Joined
May 1, 2002
Messages
11,086
Location
Melbourne
Looks like the idea is catching on...

Hard line on drugs
By SIMON BENSON
February 03, 2006

CANNABIS smokers may be forced to take counselling sessions on the links between marijuana and mental disorders to avoid being charged on a first offence, in a rewriting of NSW drug laws.

The Daily Telegraph has learned Premier Morris Iemma called for a review of the cannabis cautioning scheme to send a stronger message about the effects of marijuana on mental health.

But the real crackdown will be brought to bear on those caught growing high strength (hydroponic) cannabis - now thought to be a significant factor in rising mental health problems.

The Government is about to introduce what it claims will be the most hardline legislation in the country, with people facing 10-year jail sentences for growing as few as five hydroponic plants.

Sentences of 20 years will be made law for crops of 200 plants. A range of new offences will also apply to people who expose children to hydroponic drug houses.

Mr Iemma has undertaken a complete rewriting of cannabis laws in response to concerns from health authorities that it is a significant contributor to the mental health crisis.

"No one wants to see a young person who has made a genuine mistake, unfairly punished," Mr Iemma said.

"But we can't downplay the health and social consequences of regular cannabis use.

"That's why I want to see whether this scheme can be used to further tackle cannabis use and its devastating impact on mental health.

"There is growing evidence of a link between long-term cannabis use and the incidence of severe mental health problems," said Mr Iemma.

"Regular cannabis use can exacerbate mental illnesses and associated criminal activity. Experts tell us that potent, hydroponically grown cannabis is a particular problem."

Hydro, as it is known, can be between five and seven times stronger than conventionally grown marijuana.

The cautioning scheme for people caught with 15g of marijuana was introduced in 2000 to offer police an alternative to charging offenders and clogging courts with petty offences.

It has been hailed a success for freeing up police to tackle serious crime and keeping people from attracting criminal records for minor offences.

Users are issued with a warning for the first offence and then issued with a caution on the second, requiring them to call a counselling service. But less than 14 per cent comply.

The Government is drafting its response to a review of cannabis cautioning undertaken by the Bureau of Crime Statistics.
From Daily Telegraph
 

hoptis

Bluelight Crew
Joined
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Messages
11,086
Location
Melbourne
Cannabis targeted in mental health drive
By Louise Dodson and Andrew Clennell
February 4, 2006

ALL states will be urged to strengthen laws on cannabis use as part of a new national plan to tackle mental illness to be presented by the Prime Minister, John Howard, at his meeting with the premiers in Canberra next week.

Mr Howard will seek the agreement of the states at the meeting to a new mental health plan including measures to reduce cannabis use, senior Government sources said.

Mr Howard's push was pre-empted by the Premier, Morris Iemma, who yesterday announced tougher penalties for the indoor cultivation of cannabis.

The maximum penalty for the cultivation of five to 49 plants for individuals will be increased to a $220,000 fine and/or 10 years' jail.

The penalty for 50-199 plants will be a $385,000 fine and/or 15 years' jail. That penalty will rise to up to 20 years' jail for 200 or more plants.

Mr Iemma, who said he had never tried marijuana, said the Government would soon be completing an evaluation it was doing into the effectiveness of cannabis cautioning notices.

But he seemed to indicate he would be happy for first-time users to continue to be cautioned. "No one wants to see a young person who has made a genuine mistake, unfairly punished," Mr Iemma said.

Close to 18,000 cautions have been issued for first-time offenders since the cautions system was introduced in 2000.

Mr Iemma said his message to his children was that marijuana could "make you sick", a spokesman said.

The Opposition Leader, Peter Debnam, also said he had never tried marijuana, and did not rule out changing the cautioning system if elected premier.

The Federal Government wants the tougher laws to send a strong message to young people that cannabis is not a harmless drug as there is mounting evidence linking its use to serious mental problems such as schizophrenia.

The plan is to improve co-ordination of federal and state services in health and welfare agencies to improve treatment of mental health problems.

One focus will be how to provide suitable accommodation and support for the mentally ill who were once institutionalised and now sometimes end up homeless.

As well as the mental health initiative, the meeting will discuss a list of reforms following the Podger review of overlapping federal-state responsibilities in health.

This will involve measures to better co-ordinate services in preventive health, early intervention and primary care in rural areas.

It also aims to ensure young people with disabilities are not accommodated in nursing homes and that aged people are not kept in hospitals rather than nursing homes.

Another plan is for a national approach to apprenticeship training. Mr Howard will be seeking the agreement of the states to a new national training agreement to introduce a uniform system of apprenticeships with minimum standards.

This is seen as an important measure in trying to tackle the growing skills shortage.

Mr Howard told Channel Nine yesterday that he would "open the batting on mental health" at the premiers' meeting.

"We have a lot of other things on the agenda and I think we can make a lot of progress in some other health areas and also things relating to skills and recognition of qualifications.

"But I think we can, if there's goodwill, make a lot of progress in this area," he said.
From Sydney Morning Herald
 

melburn_madnesss

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Messages
195
NEWS:: Dope Prohibition Will Fail: Greens

Threads merged. Discussion by various state governments about touger penalties for marijuana use are all leading up to the meeting of premiers this week. (Thanks for posting :)) hoptis

TOUGH new laws cracking down on hydroponic cannabis cultivation could force young people into using harder drugs, the Greens said.

The New South Wales Government will introduce cannabis legislation to create new offences for the cultivation of indoor crops and significantly decrease the number of plants required to attract serious penalties, including up to 20 years' jail.

Premier Morris Iemma said the laws, the first of their kind in Australia, were drafted in response to growing concerns of the drug's link to mental illness.

But Greens justice spokeswoman Lee Rhiannon said the crackdown could lead young people towards harder drugs.

"Cannabis prohibition has created a burgeoning hydroponics industry," Ms Rhiannon said.

"Many people grow their own cannabis because they can't afford to buy it, and they have been forced to grow it indoors to avoid detection.

"The new laws will either land those people in prison, or else push them towards using harder drugs that cannot be as easily detected."

She called for increased funding for mental health programs, early intervention and research, rather than increased criminal penalties, to deal with the problem.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,18026891-29280,00.html

Cant say that im a greens supporter (bob brown pisses me off) but they have it the nail on the head with this article, especially this part

"Many people grow their own cannabis because they can't afford to buy it, and they have been forced to grow it indoors to avoid detection.
 
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EJ

Bluelighter
Joined
Jan 10, 2002
Messages
700
Location
Sydney
If people can grasp the idea of different potency variations of alcoholic beverages, then why can't the same logic be applied to cannabis?

If it's stronger stuff, then you will obviously smoke less to reach your desired effect. I can only see it as being healthier as smoke inhalation is less.
 
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