Wednesday, September 20, 2006

cannabis use linked to failed communities Wodensday Rant

Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
Cannabis is the latest blight to hit indigenous communities, with its thriving use being linked to increases in child sexual abuse, domestic violence and suicide. Cannabis hasn’t replaced other forms of drug abuse in remote black communities. Rather it’s being used alongside other drugs such alcohol, petrol for sniffing, amphetamines and kava. The cannabis trade is being driven by huge profits – a ‘pound’ (400-500g) of cannabis bought in Darwin for $4,000 can be sold at a profit of up to $21,000 in remote Aboriginal communities, easily justifying the cost of a charter flight to take in the illicit drug
I understood from idiot friends/users that cannabis had no side effects. I understood they threw money away on the stuff because they liked that it did nothing for them. These stats do nothing but reinforce the outdated stereo typed thinking that suggests drug use is bad.

Maybe drug use isn’t bad, but the cost of drug use is bad. Maybe, if President Iemma funnelled some money from his trough, they could buy drugs for everyone. Then we could save our money and everyone wins.

Or maybe Cannabis is illegal for a good reason and it is irresponsible for any adult to sanction its use.


Anonymous said...

“Even very remote locations now have regular deliveries and apparently often high levels of use,” says a new Australian Institute of Criminology study that paints a bleak picture of the drug problems facing indigenous communities.

The study also found:

• The age of first-time use is dropping, with children as young as 10 or 11 smoking cannabis.

• Young users are exchanging sex for drugs or alcohol, making them vulnerable to sexual assault and other abuse.

• Up to two-thirds of males and one in five females in some remote areas regularly use cannabis, including a number who smoke the equivalent of up to 20 ‘joints’ in a single session. Some of the poorest and youngest users spend a third to two-thirds of their weekly incomes on cannabis. ‘Bucket bongs’ are widely used to binge on cannabis.

• Heavy combinations of cannabis and alcohol are common, even in communities with liquor controls.

• Some communities could be spending up to 10 per cent of their total weekly income on cannabis.

The alleged repeated rape of a 12-year-old boy at a remote Top End Aboriginal community was reportedly linked to cannabis use.

A survey of police in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia conducted for the AIC study found more than 70 per cent of them said heavy cannabis use exacerbated many existing problems among local, especially family violence and mental health problems.

Comments from police provided to the researchers included “the link to child exploitation is undeniable and the ties to the drug trade are strong”, and “unfortunately the girls/boys enticed into prostitution become recruiters”.

“Hunger and child neglect are recurring issues in households where one or more of the occupants divert money for binge drinking, cannabis or gambling,” the report says. “ Women especially commented on the stress of having a hungry cannabis user in the house, exacerbating the problem of food scarcity. Substance misuse can also reduce participation in hunting and fishing, an important source of fresh food and social bonding for many remote area residents.”

Weasel said...

The rates of child sexual and physical abuse are far higher in step or “blended” families than in families where both natural parents are still together. This is the finding of a report by Queensland’s Commission of Children and Young people and Child Guardian, which said the higher abuse rates was a cause for concern given the increase in the number of such families.

According to the commission’s Snapshot: Children and Young People in Queensland 2006 report, 68.8% of the state’s children were living with both parents in intact couple families, 6.6% were in blended families (where there were children in the same family with different mothers or fathers), 3.4% were in step families, 18.8% lived with single mothers and 1.6% with single fathers.

But 29 per cent of all substantiated child sexual abuse, 26 per cent of physical abuse, 24 per cent of emotional abuse and 17 per cent of neglect occurred in step or blended families. On average abuse rates in step or blended families were about eight times higher.

“Across all forms of abuse, children living in step, blended or single-parent families had a higher risk of harm than children living with both parents in intact couple families,” the report said.

I think poverty is highly related to abuse, with many glaring exceptions. I think amoral lifestyles also highly related to abuse. So when a family is blended, there is high likelihood that either of those two factors come into play.

My mother struggled but failed. Some struggle and don’t fail. There is always sacrifice that makes a success, but when sacrifice is not made, one guarentees failure.

Anonymous said...

Too early to tell, but the timing - still two months before the mid-term elections - is fascinating:

According to the latest USA Today/Gallup Poll, Bush’s approval rating jumped five points from 39 percent earlier this month to 44 percent in the most recent survey.

The slight bounce for the President comes after he went on a campaign to boost public support for the war in Iraq.

Yes, and petrol prices fell, too. I’ve long thought that Bush will be judged better by history than by the media.

Anonymous said...

The Pope finds an important Anglican supporter:

THE former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey of Clifton has issued his own challenge to “violent” Islam in a lecture in which he defends the Pope’s “extraordinarily effective and lucid” speech.

Lord Carey said that Muslims must address “with great urgency” their religion’s association with violence. He made it clear that he believed the “clash of civilisations” endangering the world was not between Islamist extremists and the West, but with Islam as a whole.

“We are living in dangerous and potentially cataclysmic times,” he said. “There will be no significant material and economic progress [in Muslim communities] until the Muslim mind is allowed to challenge the status quo of Muslim conventions and even their most cherished shibboleths.”

Lord Carey, though, is retired from a leadership position in an Anglican Church which tends to hide from such fights. Yet this is an early sign of how the Pope’s mild yet wise words of defence of reason against violent faith may help many at last to see the true values endangered by the rise of militant Islam - and perhaps even to defend them. Or maybe I wish for too much.

Anonymous said...

I thought the ABC had become just a tad less stridently of the Left lately, but Gerard Henderson can’t agree:

THE ABC is less balanced now than when the Howard Government came to office in March 1996 ... The Howard Government wanted greater pluralism among ABC presenters and a significantly reformed complaints procedure ... Yet a decade later, Phillip Adams remains the public face of ABC Radio National; he is also a self-declared Howard-hater. And, a decade later, former Whitlam adviser Kerry O’Brien also remains very much the public face of ABC TV news and current affairs.

As if the ABC did not have enough in-house leftists, in recent years the public broadcaster has (i) recruited Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton from SBS to present At the Movies on ABC TV; (ii) employed Arena magazine editor Guy Rundle for the position of executive producer in the ABC arts department; (iii) instituted a round-robin of fashionable leftie presenters for the ABC TV Media Watch program, from Stuart Littlemore, to Richard Ackland, to Paul Barry, to David Marr, to Liz Jackson and on to Monica Attard; and (iv) inaugurated a comedy sketch each Thursday on the 7.30 Report where John Clarke and Bryan Dawe mock conservatives and social democrats alike, but invariably from a leftist perspective. Can anyone remember Messrs Clarke and Dawe mocking, say, senator Bob Brown or his fellow leftists in the Greens, including senator Kerry Nettle?

It is a matter of amusement to me that even the increasingly high-profile presenter of ABC TV’s Gardening Australia program, Peter Cundall, has a background in the Communist Party

Anonymous said...

Thailand offers so much, but once again its political class (including its top generals) lets it down:

THE Thai military launched a coup against its Prime Minister today, circling his offices with tanks, seizing control of television stations and declaring a provisional authority loyal to the King.
Add to this the growing (and badly mishandled) Muslim violence in the south and Thailand’s future looks much worse than it should be. Without the King - or this King - it would, of course, be even more troubled

Weasel said...

Natasha Cica, Age columnist (but why?) and frantic multiculturalist, surprisingly agrees with the Howard Government there really is a problem with migrant families being unable to speak the language. But which language?

Moving from fact back into fantasy, mine is for a mainstream Australian leader who considers it a real problem that those Australian grandchildren have squandered the inhouse opportunity to fast-track their fluency in Greek or Italian as well as English, and who opens out that zone of concern to Croatian, Cantonese, Hebrew, Arabic, Romanian, Vietnamese and beyond.
Cica, who wrote just before Australia’s World Cup clash with Croatia a column with the headline “Sometimes a patriotic Australian can only say: Go Croatia!" seems to be a perfect demonstration of the multiculturalist who is driven as much by a distate and disdain for Australia as a tribal affiliation with the country of their ancestors. And I believe the harm such extremists have done over the decades is as much a cause of this public anxiety over citizenship as anything that Muslim immigrants have done or not done.

Anonymous said...

Amin Saikal, head of the Australian National University’s Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, finds yet another blame-the-West reason for the failure of moderate Muslims to stand up to the Islamist fanatics who have murdered countless more Muslims than the US ever has or will:

The ugly images resulting from the prosecution of the war on terror in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Lebanon have seriously undermined their counter-terrorist measures. These images have not only infuriated Muslim extremists and provided them with more political and moral oxygen than ever before, but also left moderate Islamists high and dry. They have limited their ability to discredit the radicals and extremists in their midst and uphold the cause of democratisation without the fear of being accused of “sleeping with the enemy” — the US.
Saikal, interestingly, fails to declare another possible reason that Muslims just like him are found more often attacking the West than the terrorists. Should his article not come with an acknowledgment that his centre has been funded in substantial part by the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Turkey? Is there any reason the Age opinion editor consistently fails to insist on and to publish such a declaration?

Anonymous said...

I’m trying to imagine the mind and the theology which could see this woman as a threat:

Pope Benedict has deplored the killing of an Italian nun in Somalia, saying that he hoped her sacrifice could lead to respect among religions.

Gunmen shot dead sister Leonella Sgorbati and her bodyguard on Sunday outside a children’s hospital in north Mogadishu where she had worked since 2002.