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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Prohibitionist Dean Rambling Again (& Kedgely says something sensible) 

National Party Space-Waster and former Play School presenter Jacqui Dean is at it again. After a less-than successful foray into the banning of water (a foul trick played by left-wing bloggers in Jacqui's fevered imagination), her ramblings before the Health Select Committee yesterday merit a shock-horror headline in the Herald and even an airbrushed(?) photo of the obnoxious busy-body herself.

The story is based around data suggesting that "from July 2002 to last October, the [national poisons] centre was contacted regarding 16 children and teenagers under 16 consuming piperazine-based party pills. This included two aged 18 months, two of 23 months and one of 24 months."

Right, so that would be fewer than 4 children a year then. Not quite a national crisis is it?

Young children, in particular, will pick up anything and put it in their mouths. Which is why you have to watch the little buggers constantly, and try and keep as many potentially "dangerous" items out of reach as possible. Just ask Yamis.

Lots of things that are OK for adults, in certain doses, are bad for babies. Like gin for example. And a couple of panadols. Of course, we don't suggest that adults shouldn't be able to use these things (and threaten to imprison those who do).

More generally, there are many things that are appropriate for adults (e.g., driving, getting married, moving out of home), which we do not consider appropriate for infants. Get a clue, woman.

We have to read most of the way down the story to see that: "The most common calls [to the Poisons Centre] relating to children overdosing on drugs was for paracetamol-based medicine."

Surprise surprise.

And it is not until the penultimate sentence that we see: "National Poisons Centre poisons information specialist Mairead Harnett said there was no evidence that party pills had led to any deaths."

A bigger surprise, perhaps, is something very sensible coming from none other than Green MP Sue Kedgley, renowned for making comments ranging from the strange to the bizarre. The following exchange is great:

The select committee's chairwoman, Green MP Sue Kedgley, questioned Mrs Dean on whether it would make more sense to increase the restrictions on the marketing and sale of tobacco and alcohol before banning party pills, because alcohol and tobacco were associated with thousands of deaths a year in New Zealand and party pills with none.

"Why would you not take a consistent approach?" she asked.

Mrs Dean said it was "not helpful" to start a bidding war on which drugs were the more harmful.

Oh piss off, Jacqui. That is not an argument. It is an assertion based on, well, nothing. It is fucking helpful to consider which drugs are more harmful, because it would likely reveal that there is no rational basis for current drug policy.

Research recently published in the Lancet, for example, finds that alcohol and tobacco are more harmful to human health than cannabis, LSD and ecstasy. (NB: this is independent of their current availability/legal status).

Note to infants everywhere: this does not mean I recommend you take cannabis, LSD or ecstasy. Moreover, parents, you are responsible for keeping these things away from your infants.

Note to Jacqui Dean: while attention to harm will at least reveal the bankruptcy of your ideas, and that of your prohibitionist ilk, in the final analysis it is absolutely none of your business what I put in my body. The criminal law's legitimate interest in any subsequent behaviour on my part should be limited to protecting the rights of others.

Moreover, if you think drugs are bad for my health (and some of them, legal and illegal, in certain quantities, are), then why are you threatening me with imprisonment (which will most certainly be bad for my health?)

Piss off and take your "drugs are bad for babies" bullshit with you.

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Thanks for the link love, and while you are at it, make sure you FAX your submission on the MODA (BZP Amendment) to the Health Select Committee TODAY.

Even if its just to say you don't support the amendment. Final day for submissions is tomorrow.

Also email the journo behind that story and tell him what you think
Cheers MikeE, I will get on to that submission ASAP. I have till tomorrow, right?

Will probably "borrow" a few points from those submissions posted by yourself and I/S.
Yes, till tomorrow, you will need to fax it however.
What a tosser. I am sure that there would be many more calls to the poisons centre about toddlers ingesting dish washing liquid.

Oh, by the way - Green MP Sue Kedgely's office fell for the DHMO stunt back in 2001, and were lampooned by... you guessed it... the National Party!

And for the record - I'm not a lefty
Cheers MikeE - I knew you were viciously slandered by that Dean woman. :)

At least in Kedgely's case it was just some office underling I guess.
When the underling speaks it is with the Authority of their superior in Parliament. So that doesnt' really cut it.

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