John Roughan: Why the ‘health approach’ to marijuana won’t work

first_imgNZ Herald 5 May 2019Family First Comment: Well said by John Roughan“By the time we come to the referendum we might be seeing what the “health approach” to methamphetamine and other drugs really means. It means implied approval, causing increased use and public liability for addiction. At that point we might decide the criminal law gives the best, cheapest and healthiest message after all.”#saynopetodopeCampaigners for legalising marijuana used to be amiable libertarians who asked for nothing more than the right to grow or buy their drug of choice and the freedom to smoke it without risk of prosecution as drinkers of alcohol can do.Anyone who thinks that is all they will be voting for at a referendum next year is going to be surprised when the Government announces some details of what is proposed, possibly today.The people who have been leading the campaign to legalise marijuana in recent years are definitely not libertarians. They probably don’t even smoke pot or anything else.They are puritans who regard all pleasurable drugs as a problem demanding tighter regulation and much more health treatment.The reason they give for wanting to decriminalise marijuana is that they believe the criminal law has failed to stamp it out and merely discouraged users from seeking the treatment they need.But just quietly, they are also excited by the prospect of designing a regulatory regime that may be applied to all drugs, especially alcohol. A “model drug law” it was called in a report produced by the NZ Drug Foundation for the 2017 election.It will be interesting to see how much of that report’s proposals have been adopted in the regime the Government will put to the referendum. One News has had a tip that a minimum purchasing age of 20 will be set for legalised marijuana.That, of course, was the age public health professors urged Parliament to set for alcohol when they attempted to reduce its availability in 2010. They have never accepted that defeat and will try again at some stage with a new Parliament.The Drug Foundation’s “model law” for marijuana goes much further than any restrictions the public health professors proposed to the previous Government for alcohol. Licensed outlets would be more strictly limited and be “as uninteresting as possible”.READ MORE: read more


first_imgTHE skipper of the world’s largest trawler used illegal equipment to grade fish in an operation which caused a ‘double whammy’ for stocks off the Irish coast, a prosecution lawyer has told his trial. Dutch national Gerrit Plug, 59, the master of the 14,000 tonne Annelies Ilena, is on trial at Donegal Circuit Criminal Court on five charges relating to an incident off Tory Island, Co Donegal, on November 22, 2013.Patricia McLaughlin, prosecuting for the DPP, told the jury of six women and six men, that Mr Plug was in breach of European legislation on the day. He was in charge of a fishing operation aboard the 144-metre long vessel, formerly the Killybegs-based Atlantic Dawn, which dumped perfectly good dead fish back to the sea but kept the best fish on board, she alleged.Grading fish in this way is illegal, Ms McLaughlin told the jury, because discarded fish should be recorded and set against a ship’s quota.It was also illegal not to record the discards over 50Kg on the ship’s electronic log-book.“He graded the catch by discarding smaller fish and retaining larger fish to increase the value of the catch,” said Ms McLaughlin in the trial before Judge John O’Hagan.This was to optimise the market value, said the prosecution barrister.“If you are only retaining the best fish and discarding fish which are less valuable and you are not logging it, it is illegal,” she said.She said trawlers were obliged to record their catch and any discards of species over 50kg, with the dumped fish counting against a quota.This was also done so that when quotas were being decided by scientists, they could give fair allocations.“This was a double whammy in the depletion of resources,” added Ms McLaughlin.The Annelies Ilena was boarded by crew from the LE Roisin at 9am on November 22, 2013 and escorted into Killybegs.Lt Michael Devaney, one of the Navy officers who boarded the factory ship, said there was evidence of fish in the water and seagulls feeding off them.He told the judge that ship masters have to update their electronic log-books up to 23.59 each night but during an inspection they are allowed to update their records for the day in question up until the time of the inspection.This wasn’t done, he said, and no records of dumped fish were added.Lt Devaney said that on inspection he found that there were no records of any fish discards between October 8 and the date of the boarding on November 22.Richard Lyons, SC, for Mr Plug, put it to Lt Devaney that the fishing that day could have been what’s known as a ‘clean catch’ where the crew had just happened to have had come across a a shoal of large mackerel.Mr Lyons also told the court that the records were updated by midnight on November 22 and 83kg of discards were recorded.Questioned again by Ms McLaughlin, Lt Devaney said 53kgs of fish were found in an area of the boat known as the scupper ready to be discharged back to the sea.He said 95pc of the mackerel in the scupper were above the legal catch size of 15cms.The court heard was illegal in 2013 to discard any mackerel above the legal catch size.Mr Plug has pleaded not guilty to five charges.The case continues.SKIPPER OF WORLD’S BIGGEST TRAWLER ACCUSED OF ILLEGAL FISHING OFF TORY was last modified: March 26th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:atlantic dawnlast_img read more

GOP Lawmakers Request For Info About Navigators May Slow Process

first_imgMeanwhile, in regard to a separate issue, West Virginia’s attorney general is criticizing the Department of Health and Human Services for not responding to questions about navigator privacy concerns. Kaiser Health News: Navigators Say GOP Lawmakers’ Information Requests Are ‘Shocking’Organizations that received the latest round of health law navigator grants say last week’s letter from House Republicans could have a chilling effect on efforts to hire and train outreach workers to sign up Americans for health insurance by Oct. 1, the opening day for new online insurance marketplaces (Gold, 9/5).The Associated Press: W. Va. Attorney General Criticizes Lack Of Health Care AnswersAttorney General Patrick Morrisey is criticizing federal health care officials for refusing to respond to questions over a plan to hire workers to help walk people through their health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act. Morrisey and a dozen other state attorneys general sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last month pointing out privacy concerns with the plan to hire navigators to help roll out the health care reforms (9/4).Other health exchange headlines include updates from Oregon, Iowa, New York, California and Connecticut —  The Lund Report: Cover Oregon Takes Outreach Strategy OnlineAs Cover Oregon prepares to launch the state health insurance marketplace this fall, it’s held nine community events — all of which have been packed — and plans to hold two more before it begins enrolling people in October. In addition to in-person events and a much-discussed advertising campaign, Cover Oregon is also trying to reach Oregonians online to educate them about the insurance options available in the coming months (McCurdy, 9/4).Des Moines Register: Insurance Exchange Pricing DelayedIowa’s insurance commissioner is delaying release of pricing information for policies to be sold on the state’s new health insurance exchange, because he wants to wait for a firm commitment that a national carrier will participate. Commissioner Nick Gerhart had planned to release prices next week for policies to be offered on the new system, which is a key part of Obamacare (Leys, 9/4).Reuters: Hipsters, Paul Bunyan Make Feel-Good Pitch In Obamacare AdsNew commercials to promote Obamacare’s state health exchanges strive for an upbeat, and at times humorous, tone to sell healthcare reform to a skeptical and largely unaware audience. Guitar-strumming hipsters encourage Oregonians to “get the best care” and sign up for health insurance. Minnesota’s Obamacare ads beckon with the help of Paul Bunyan and his Babe the Blue Ox. For New York State, an eye-catching skyline of Manhattan is seen as voice overs emphasize that “everyone deserves affordable health insurance” (Beasley, 9/4).California Healthline: The Exchanges Won’t Be ‘Ready’ In Time. And It (Probably) Won’t MatterWhile other states waffled, Golden State officials quickly embraced key Obamacare provisions like expanding Medicaid and creating insurance pools for individuals with pre-existing conditions. At the same time, lawmakers crafted legislation intended to conform California’s health insurance plans to new standards under the Affordable Care Act. … And a more essential issue might be getting lost, amid the growing number of questions over which state exchanges will be open for business on Oct. 1. “Lots of people are asking about readiness,” said Caroline Pearson, who leads Avalere Health’s efforts to track health reform implementation. “But no one is asking about whether it matters” (Diamond, 9/4).CT Mirror Spanish-Language TV Series Will Promote Health Insurance To LatinosAccess Health CT, the state’s new health insurance marketplace, is launching a Spanish-language “edutainment” television series intended to reach uninsured Latinos. Latinos make up 14 percent of the state’s population, but a quarter of the people without health insurance in the state, making them a key target for those trying to enroll people in coverage as part of federal health reform (Becker, 09/04). Meanwhile, under-the-hood difficulties continue to emerge regarding the online insurance marketplaces –Reuters: Technical Snafus Confuse Charges For Obamacare PlansTechnical glitches still plague the display of new healthcare plans to be offered to millions of uninsured Americans starting in 26 days, including how medical charges and deductibles are listed, industry officials say. Health insurers planning to sell policies to people who are currently uninsured, under President Barack Obama’s health care reform, say they expect the problems will be remedied by October 1, when consumers will be able to buy health insurance from state exchanges (Begley, 9/5). GOP Lawmakers’ Request For Info About Navigators May Slow Process This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more