A sobering tale

Seized Mongrel Mob Ford Raptor. Photo / Alan Gibson.

In a rare burst of real investigative journalism, A Newspaper has published a fine piece by Jared Savage looking at the effects of meth on a small rural town, Kawerau. It is well worth a read to see what locals can achieve.

The local constable was being stonewalled by his bosses while the Mongrel Mob drug lords ran rampant and flaunted their power and success in everyone’s face. So the constable went to the top and wrote to Mike Bush to explain that the Mongrel Mob were running Kawerau and the police needed to act. Now. Quote.

Bush moved quickly to task the National Organised Crime Group (NOCG), which is responsible for most of the country’s best covert drug investigations. […]

What was happening in Kawerau – essentially the retail end at the bottom of the supply chain – did not meet the traditional threshold for NOCG.

But the order came from the very top. So in August 2017, Operation Notus started. […] Six months later, Operation Notus ended.

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Back off Mitch, the police got it right.

Mark Mitchell has a go at our hard-working boys and girls in blue simply for exercising a bit of compassion and common sense: quote.

Quote:National’s accused the Government of being soft on crime, after 84 people caught importing drugs got off with warnings.End of quote.

The current government and previous have, for better or worse, taken the approach of being soft on drug users but hard on dealers.

It?s not perfect. There?s no distinction between responsible use and irresponsible use and, personally, I think we?re way too soft on users who use irresponsibly.

The other spanner in the works is that most dealers are addicts. The illegal drug market works like a warped pyramid scheme. Addicts get money for their fix by recruiting new users and so on. That?s the illegal drug market for you.

At least the government had taken an approach that?s more harm reduction than punitive. Quote.

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Great. Now 11 year olds are smoking the stuff

A left-wing newspaper reports on 11-year-olds doing synthetics. quote.

Quote:Children as young as 11 are getting hooked on synthetic cannabis in a Napier suburb known for being a popular source of the drug.End of quote.

11 years old. How the Nicky Hager did we get here?

Before I answer that I’d like to start by clearing one thing up. Synthetic cannabis isn’t just a label. Synthetic cannabis is synthetic cannabis. It works on the brain the same way as normal cannabis. It just can be more potent. Some of it, a lot more potent.

So how did we get here? Let’s start with the closest link. The fact that there are pushers selling drugs to kids. If I had my way there’d be a special place in Dante’s hell for scumbags who push illegal drugs and there’d be a special place in that place for those scumbags who push drugs to kids.

Thing is, under the law, there’s no difference between pushing drugs to adults and pushing drugs to kids. Same max penalty. That’s outrageous. Whether you’re a pothead or someone who thinks caffeine should be illegal you have to agree with that.

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Senior criminology lecturer says ‘free the weed’


Dr Fiona Hutton, a senior lecturer in criminology, talks some sense on drug-law reform😕Quote:

QuoI started 2018 with an unmistakable sense of optimism ? after years of procrastinating and avoiding the evidence, a government was going to hold a referendum on legalising cannabis by 2020.

Could this be the beginning of an exciting new era of drug policy and drug law reform? Where policy was evidence based, where the harms from drug use could be effectively addressed, and where the damage from criminalisation could be stopped?

[…]My biggest fear is that the whole thing will end up being a rushed, misinformed, ill-thought-through debacle, and we will have missed a really important chance to make a difference; to respond to drug use and drug users differently and more effectively; to stop the harms related to underground markets and criminalisation. Prohibition of drugs has not stopped people using or having problems with them.

[…]I hope the powers that be will take action very soon to provide a balanced, well-produced, well-thought-out information campaign, to ensure New Zealanders are fully aware of what they are voting for.End of quote.

What will happen is that those for reform will provide reasoned, evidence-based arguments while those opposed will engage in lies, misinformation and emotion. This is because those opposed to reform have got nothing. Quote.

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Getting tough on synthetics

A bill to toughen up prison sentences for suppliers of psychoactive drugs is set to pass its first reading thanks to the backing of National and Labour’s coalition partner, New Zealand First.

National’s Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown’s private member’s bill, which would increase the maximum penalty for supplying psychoactive drugs from two to eight years’ jail, will have its first reading in Parliament today.

Labour and the Green parties oppose the bill because they say it won’t dent drug use or supply, but simply add to the country’s burgeoning prison muster.

And Labour and the Greens are right. Drug dealers aren’t deterred by the risk of going to to jail given the huge profits.

But Labour’s coalition partner New Zealand First will support the first reading.

No surprises there.

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Photo of the Day

?Dirty Laundry? is the sixth track from Don Henley’s debut album, Can’t Stand Still.

“Dirty Laundry”

According to Eagles insiders, that laundry could get pretty stinky.

It’s not surprising that of all Don Henley’s massive hits — with the Eagles as well as solo — his most massive chart triumph was his first individual effort, “Dirty Laundry,” in 1982. Henley wrote the song as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the sad state of the media biz, specifically the tawdry tabloid approach that categorized the TV industry at that time.?“Crap is king,”?he declared, making clear his disdain for the sensationalist tack news people pursued at the time, a trend that continues to the present day. In concert, he’s been known to dedicate the song to Rupert Murdoch and Bill O’Reilly, two men whose behaviour suggests they are direct descendants of the sleazy journalists Henley lambasted at the time.

In fact, Henley has plenty of dirty laundry of his own, so much so that the song was initially believed to be about his own missteps.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AhZ5lmLacI] Read more »

Photo of the Day

Tom Petty performs on stage during a 1981 Irvine, California concert. George Rose/Getty Images

Tom Petty

?Free Fallin?

From his stage presence to his fashion, Tom Petty electrified audiences for decades. Celebrated rocker Tom Petty died at age 66 after suffering cardiac arrest at his California home on Monday. Although the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is now gone, his music, his charisma, and his one-of-a-kind presence will live on.

After 40 years in the music industry, Tom Petty consistently stayed at the top of the charts.

But while his success never faltered, the ?Free Fallin’? singer?s personal life wasn?t quite as smooth sailing. From suffering abuse as a child to going through a difficult divorce and subsequent addiction to heroin, Petty, fought through intense personal troubles to find ultimate happiness with his second wife Dana York.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers recently completed a summer tour with three nights at the Hollywood Bowl. The trek marked the band’s 40th anniversary and found him playing rarely played deep cuts like their first album’s opener, “Rockin’ Around (With You),” and a selection of Wildflowers cuts. It was intended to be his “last trip around the country.” He said though, that it wasn’t his intention to quit playing. “I need something to do, or I tend to be a nuisance around the house.”

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Hunter rode the British made motorcycle BSA A65 Lightning while researching Hell’s Angels. When he lived in Big Sur in the early 1960s, he rode his Lightning so much he was known as “The Wild One of Big Sur”.

?Some May Never Live, but the Crazy Never Die?

Hunter S. Thompson

He was a gun-loving, hard-drinking ‘outlaw journalist’ with a taste for illegal substances.

Hunter S. Thompson reached the peak of his literary career in the mid-Seventies after his books, Hell’s Angels and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas were published to great success.

His writing broke from conventional reporting and straddled both fiction and non-fiction, a unique approach which turned him into a counter-culture icon and won him legions of fans.?His trademark reporting style became what?s now called gonzo journalism, in which he made himself a central character in his own stories. And a character he was: his stories often centred on his panache for excessive consumption while surveying America?s political and cultural landscape in a way that no one had before.

Asked to list what they require before commencing a day?s work, most would probably list things like coffee, toast and perhaps a cigarette or two, but not Hunter S. Thompson, who needed a kaleidoscopic bevvy of cocaine, Chartreuse and hot tubs in order to get his creative juices flowing.

His daily routine was charted by E. Jean Carroll in the first chapter of her 1994 book?HUNTER: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson, and remains an object of fascination, awe and horror to this day.

Thompson, who committed suicide at 67, was of course known for his heavy drinking and drug habit and they were both ingrained in his writing. He once said of them: ??I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”?In spite of his well-deserved reputation for substance abuse, Thompson was an assiduous worker with a writing career that spanned six decades and included 16 books and a litany of short stories and articles.

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Margaux Hemingway

Margaux Hemingway seemed to have it all, yet a drug overdose led the actress to an untimely death.

She was six feet tall in her bare feet?five foot twelve, she’d say?with such a remarkable face and such a radiant presence and such an alluring name that when she walked into a room, conversation left it. If she shook your hand, you might think your wrist was going to snap. If she knew you well enough she might call you “boopsie” and haul you off on a hike, or a trip to India; of course, with her long legs came great lungs, and you didn’t hike with her, you gasped for breath behind her. When she laughed, it came out big and childlike and innocent. Her looks were so distinctive that when she went to a club and left her purse at home, she could reassure an exasperated companion, “But I don’t need any I.D. I have my eyebrows.”

She started right at the top with the first million-dollar contract ever awarded a model. She wasn’t even out of high school. She asked for none of it. She was just a wide-eyed bronco-riding speed-skiing adventure-loving kid from Idaho who was spotted by Errol Wetson, an entrepreneur who became her first husband, who knew someone who knew people. “No one,” her father said, “could take a bad picture of her.”

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Linda Susan Boreman, more commonly referred to by her onetime stage name Linda Lovelace, was an American pornographic actress famous for her performance in the 1972 hardcore porn film Deep Throat.

The Harrowing Story of Linda?Lovelace

Before home computers, before the Internet, there was Linda Lovelace. For those who may have missed the 1970s, Lovelace starred in ?Deep Throat,? the first ?adult? film to receive mainstream distribution.

Typical porno flicks of the time were sleazy, hurriedly shot and poorly lit. ?Deep Throat? was comparatively better, and even had an unusual comic plot. Lovelace was unable to achieve satisfaction in the traditional matter because of ? how to put this? ? A physical anomaly. Without going into detail, consider the film?s name.

That was humorous, perhaps. But there was nothing funny about her real life. Lovelace later revealed that she was abused by her husband and forced not only to appear in this film but to perform acts of prostitution, as well.

Ask 100 people to name a porn film and its star and 99 of them will probably come up with Deep Throat and actress Linda Lovelace.

Released in 1972 Deep Throat was the first porn film to be shown in ordinary cinemas and played several times a day every day for 10 years at the Pussycat Cinema chain in America.

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