Friday on my mind

Something a bit different today.

New laws in the ACT have gobsmacked me with their sheer discrimination.  A few years ago smoking was banned in clubs and restaurants; a move that I fully agreed with.  To cater for the patrons who smoke every club and most restaurants here collectively spent millions setting up comfortable outdoor areas.  My local club opened up an area that included seating, heating, shrubbery and two large TVs; one for the races and on tuned into major sporting events.

I enjoy sitting out there with my friends while I sip on a coffee and puff on the occasional cigar.  It’s the meeting point for my circle of friends.  It’s the centre of our social life.

After the commitment from the new Federal Government that limits will be placed on how much a person can gamble on pokies each day, our Chief Minister, John Stanhope had a real hissy fit at how this will affect sporting revenue in the ACT, as most of the gaming clubs are sports clubs.  No thought whatsoever of the social good that the initiative might produce.  The clubs need the money and we don’t give a damn how many people’s lives are destroyed in helping them to achieve their greedy goal.  My club, incidentally, made $30M last year, and you’d think that our Chief Minister would be satisfied that our club is making good money and will still do after pokie restrictions come into affect.

Now here’s some sheer hypocrisy to go along with the previously announced discrimination.  As of yesterday you may smoke in the outdoor area but you are prohibited from drinking and smoking at the same time.  You are prohibited from taking any food or drink into the smoking area.  At our club the two large TVs have been removed because smokers are now prohibited from having any entertainment.  A wall is to be erected as smokers are not allowed to watch the golf from the smoking area, as watching live golf is considered entertainment.

Smoking is still legal, so these laws seem rather draconian.

The clubs and restaurants are very concerned at the potential downturn in profits.  John Stanhope doesn’t appear to be, despite his concerns about pokie restrictions.

Up until last year Melbourne Cup was a public holiday in the ACT, but after some lobbying from city eateries that they were missing out on Cup Day trade, the holiday was shifted.

I’m wondering if the drop in income from the clubs and restaurants following the new smoking laws will also see them ganging up on the government.

I’ve had my rant.  Hopefully one of our visitors can provide us with something a bit more entertaining than the best I can come up with today.  I’ll be gone for most of the day, being forced against my will to attend a Christmas dinner, so I’ll catch up with everybody later tonight.

71 comments on “Friday on my mind

  1. I am just off to the Human Rights Day rally at Town Hall in Sydney, which is now going to be a support rally for Julian Assange and Wikileaks… expect some photos later.

  2. Migs, the reason that they’ve decided to remove all entertainment is that you blokes were spending far too much time outside socialising and not where you should be…inside in front of a poker machine.

    In NSW there once used to be a way to escape from the constant ceaseless clunk clunk clunk of the machines via the outdoor area..what did the clubs and pubs do? Take the machines outside of course and so you can’t even escape from them that way.

    I believe that there was a court case in NSW and the decision was that by putting up all-weather covers to protect the machines that the clubs had effectively turned outdoor areas into indoor areas. There therefore was a choice, ban smoking or move the machines. At my last visit to the bowlo which was about a month ago, nothing had changed and so I don’t know what’s become of the court decision on this issue.

  3. “expect some photos later.”

    Look forward to it joni.

    Former Australian Democrats senator and now Greens member Andrew Bartlett was out in Brissie…I supported him way back when…had a big pic of him on our fence (unfortunately the Dems didn’t make it then)…nice guy…articulates issues well:

    Hundreds rally for WikiLeaks founder

    Steve Gray
    December 9, 2010

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/hundreds-rally-for-wikileaks-founder-20101209-18raq.html

    N’

  4. “As of yesterday you may smoke in the outdoor area but you are prohibited from drinking and smoking at the same time. You are prohibited from taking any food or drink into the smoking area.”

    Seems somewhat over-the-top.

    Enjoy the Chrissy dinner Migs.

    My wife has a Xmas/breakup bbq at work she has to go to. She’s a vego so I hope they cater to her. They too often don’t unfortunately. Yet she takes in food for others to enjoy consistently. Her staffroom is great tho.

    N’

  5. “In NSW there once used to be a way to escape from the constant ceaseless clunk clunk clunk of the machines via the outdoor area..what did the clubs and pubs do? Take the machines outside of course and so you can’t even escape from them that way.”

    Indeed Min.

    I used to go regularly to an RSL w/ my father-in-law…but once they put in all the clangin’ machines I stopped. Lost the relaxed, cheerful mood. Became robotic & too loud.

    Plenty of beaut UK pubs were ruined by the same thing.

    N’

  6. Nas’, I had the misfortune to go back to the RSL in Mullumbimby which is an historical building. It used to consist of tables where the old blokes would sit around, have a yarn and a couple of beers – a large separate room for bands and dancing – pool tables and a few poker machines.

    The whole place had been completely gutted and instead of the tables, pool tables and hall it was wall-to-wall poker machines resplendent in garish pink and purple plastic.

    Needless to say I’ll never go back.

  7. Nas’…daughters have come across that before too. They say that they’re vegetarians and the host/ess doesn’t cater for them. Many is the time that Erin has ended up eating just the fruit. Why I don’t know…maybe some people think that being a vegetarian is just a quirky thing and that the other person really doesn’t mean it.

  8. Needless to say I’ll never go back.

    It’s a sad state of affairs Min.

    Gamblers & noisy machines over quality social occasions & a peaceful drink(s) w/ family & chums…or even by yerself. We tend to stay home now.

    I’ve noticed that so many American TV shows the past few years seem dependent on advertising for Las Vegas. It’s quite irritating. They often aren’t the best episodes…feel like outright spruikin’ in order to get funding.

    Boring as.

    Many is the time that Erin has ended up eating just the fruit.

    Can relate to that…or bein’ offered a crappy bit of lettuce and some bread w/ marge…it really irks us. Yet, when we take our vege meals to parties & such everyone gets stuck in gleefully. I’m pleased they do…but it would be nice if they thought of us too. Occasionally some do…Sanqween’s Mum is great now…always makes a vege quiche, has a variety of non-meat/fish salads & such.

    Why I don’t know…maybe some people think that being a vegetarian is just a quirky thing and that the other person really doesn’t mean it.

    Well, as you know by way of yer lovely daughters, this is no “quirky” thing for many of us…it’s a deeply thought-out lifestyle choice…

    not meant to aggravate others…just a decision we’ve made that suits us on a number of different levels.

    It gets so tiring meeting defensive meat-eaters who treat us like a disease…or somethin’ amusin’…or think that somehow we do it to piss them off…or refer to us as “dopey hippies” & “fairies at the bottom of the garden” behind our backs…or to our faces as they did when we started almost 20 years ago.

    It has improved since then…but not always on the caterin’ side…or in talkin’ about it to people. And plenty of ads & shows we find quite sickenin’…that seem to be tryin’ to get a laugh out of brutalisin’ animals.

    Frankly, there’s the odd character I wouldn’t mind roastin’ on the BBQ. 🙂

    In Her Defense, I’m Sure the Moose Had It Coming

    Aaron Sorkin (Huffington Post)

    Unless you’ve never worn leather shoes, sat upon a leather chair or eaten meat, save your condemnation.”

    You’re right, Sarah, we’ll all just go fuck ourselves now.

    The snotty quote was posted by Sarah Palin on (like all the great frontier women who’ve come before her) her Facebook page to respond to the criticism she knew and hoped would be coming after she hunted, killed and carved up a Caribou during a segment of her truly awful reality show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, broadcast on The-Now-Hilariously-Titled Learning Channel.

    I eat meat, chicken and fish, have shoes and furniture made of leather, and PETA is not ever going to put me on the cover of their brochure and for these reasons Palin thinks it’s hypocritical of me to find what she did heart-stoppingly disgusting. I don’t think it is, and here’s why.

    Like 95% of the people I know, I don’t have a visceral (look it up) problem eating meat or wearing a belt. But like absolutely everybody I know, I don’t relish the idea of torturing animals. I don’t enjoy the fact that they’re dead and I certainly don’t want to volunteer to be the one to kill them and if I were picked to be the one to kill them in some kind of Lottery-from-Hell, I wouldn’t do a little dance of joy while I was slicing the animal apart.

    I’m able to make a distinction between you and me without feeling the least bit hypocritical. I don’t watch snuff films and you make them. You weren’t killing that animal for food or shelter or even fashion, you were killing it for fun. You enjoy killing animals. I can make the distinction between the two of us but I’ve tried and tried and for the life of me, I can’t make a distinction between what you get paid to do and what Michael Vick went to prison for doing. I’m able to make the distinction with no pangs of hypocrisy even though I get happy every time one of you faux-macho shitheads accidentally shoots another one of you in the face.

    So I don’t think I will save my condemnation, you phony pioneer girl. (I’m in film and television, Cruella, and there was an insert close-up of your manicure while you were roughing it in God’s country. I know exactly how many feet off camera your hair and make-up trailer was.)

    And you didn’t just do it for fun and you didn’t just do it for money. That was the first moose ever murdered for political gain. You knew there’d be a protest from PETA and you knew that would be an opportunity to hate on some people, you witless bully. What a uniter you’d be — bringing the right together with the far right.

    More here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aaron-sorkin/sarah-palin-killing-animals_b_793600.html

    Cheers

    N’

  9. Nas’, when I put on a spread I always include at least 3 vegetarian dishes, plus the usual fruit and nut platters. And same, it’s the non-vegos who seem to relish them just as much as the vegetarians.

    With Erin, she has never ever eaten meat and this includes when she was a baby. I thought to ask her quite recently about why she won’t eat meat and she replied that it’s the smell. Ok, well that’s different! With Briony, she caught a fish when she was about 6yrs old and refused to eat any meat from then on. And so I guess that my girls are a little bit quirky 😀

  10. Joni, you mentioned that it was a Human Rights rally..was wondering if it was focussed on any particular aspect?

  11. Just back from a wonderful lunch, looked at news.com and was amused that one of the major articles under World News was the taking of a white kayaker by a crocidile in . . . . . . . . . . . . . the Congo!

    I wonder how many Africans are taken by crocodiles in the Congo each month.

    I wonder how many Indigenous Australians die of diabetes related ilnesses each month.

    I wonder how many seals or dolphins have been clubbed to death this month.

    Keep wondering about important issues because you’ll never hear about it on news.com.

  12. min

    it was mainly dominated by wikileaks and assange, but some basic human rights were mentioned – specifically that we need a bill of rights in Australia.

  13. “when I put on a spread I always include at least 3 vegetarian dishes, plus the usual fruit and nut platters.”

    Yer a thoughtful person Min. And a great Mum.

    N’

  14. Joni, I certainly agree about the Bill of Rights, Australia being the only Western nation without one. Part of the problem aside from earlier attempts not getting through both houses of Parliament is that our Constitution is nothing more than a legal document enabling federation of the states and setting out responsibilities. Zilch of course about Aboriginals or Basic Human Rights.

    Nas’, pic of the duck..certainly looks as if he could be fearsome when roused 😀

  15. All these new digital channels are just great! As a person with a fair hearing loss (compensated for by a couple of very expensive hearing aids), I still rely on subtitles to enjoy watching television. Now, I can watch a program on sbs 1 and get subtitles, The same program broadcast later on sbs 2, no subtitiles. ( Talking about teletext). The same with all the new digital channels, barring maybe abc 2.

    Maybe min will understand, as a hearing impairment is very much the ‘invisible’ disability.

    Migs, that it is quite scary stuff with the smoking bans. I like sitting outside at O’Malleys and having a beer and a fag, but maybe no more.

  16. Handyrab. Agreed subtitles are indeed a blessing. I find that even some of the newer movies on DVD that they don’t bother with subtitles. Maybe we should march in the street and demand a better deal for the hearing impaired!

  17. Hi handyrab. It is speculated that this new law will have quite an adverse effect on O’Malleys. Silly law. You can have a smoke or you can have a beer. You can’t have both at the same time.

  18. Absolutely Min. I come from a family where ‘deafness’ is a genetic disposition. Can’t do anything about it, but it would be nice if there was more understanding. As I said it is very much the invisible disability.

    Migs, I’d rather be be an evil smoker that smokes in the open than a pederast who works behind closed doors.

  19. You know Migs, on the few occasions I’ve had the pleasure to spend time in the ACT, this separation of smoking and drinking should be the last thing on the agenda. Jesus that Garema(?) court area is a shitfight. And the new laws won’t change that.

  20. You can walk past a side walk café while smoking and carrying a coffee, but you can’t sit there and do it.

    I can see these laws being axed.

  21. Same here handyrab..all my Jenkins crew were as deaf as posts. The men were all 6 footers and a room full of ’em was interesting as they would all yell at each other :).

    I can catch a lot of everyday speech but as you know it depends upon the background noise. Most people don’t seem to understand this nor understand if they turn their back while they’re talking, that a hearing impaired person can miss or misunderstand what they’re saying. I personally tend to rely a lot on visual cues such as the person’s expression. Maybe a little general education about this wouldn’t go astray.

  22. Erm, what do the Fun Police do if someone who is only drinking sits outside with someone who is only smoking?

  23. Hi Feral…funny ya should mention Nuggets…I’ve been wantin’ that series for yonks…but money always ends up somewhere else. Weird thing is I was supposed to get a couple of the cds for Xmas (have ’em written down beside the computer) but instead ’cause of the dollar & good bonus offers I downloaded about 30 lps & eps from eMusic. 🙂

    There’s always next year.

    But I do have quite a bit of psychedelic, art rock, acid rock, prog, blues rock, early metal music. Ya got me there. 🙂

    BTW, I’m havin’ a beer…pure blonde for some reason:

    http://www.villadiparma.com/2009/09/new-aussie-beer-70-less-carbo.html

    Take one if ya like, I have plenty.

    S’ & dig this:

  24. Good point, Feral. It shows just how ridiculous the law is.

    Nonetheless, I went down to the and what do I see? People smoking and drinking in the outside area. Apparently the clubs kicked up a fuss and got a bit of leeway. Still no TVs though. No entertainment allowed. The TAB room which is usually packed with punters was barren, as you can’t go outside and watch the races if you’re having a smoke. So people have gone elsewhere.

    Eventually the outside area will be fitted out with more pokies. Disgraceful. Having a beer and a ciggie is not good. Ruining your life by playing pokies is good. The government here prefers that.

  25. Migs..let me see. They’ve taken away all entertainment such as TVs and even being able to watch the golf because entertainment is not permitted in an outside area.

    However later pokies will be fitted in this same area and because…ummm, pokies aren’t ‘entertainment’??? Well they’re probably spot on with that.

  26. Hi Nas,
    Thanks for Beer! As per usual it put me to sleep. 😉
    Ergo, I think you might be able to guess by now that I am not the world’s biggest imbiber of fermented beverages. Though, I will never knock back a freebie! However, when I’m given it as a present, as in when Ad Astra gave me a beautiful bottle of champers when he dropped in to visit me on his way back from Cairns recently, as I’m a single adult unit now and have no one to share booze with it generally stays undrunk.
    Also, I guess it has to do with the fact that I have preferred other ‘organic’ relaxants instead. 🙂

  27. Nas and other Queenslanders,
    Aren’t you lucky? You have woken up with the news today that you must elect Mal Brough back into parliament so that he can become Prime Minister!
    That would be the same, “I feel that Public Service is my calling”, Mal Brough that misappropriated funds from his department when he was Minister for Indigenous Affairs to pay for a lavish festival in his electorate, one of the most blatant cases of overt Pork Barrelling by a Minister from the former Howard government ever.
    Yeah, the country really needs someone like that running it. Not.

  28. It does seem perverse I’ll grant you Migs.

    While I support the no waitstaff support in smoking areas on OH&S grounds rule, it seems to me that if people want to go out there and eat and drink amongst smokers that’s their call, surely.

    Let’s have a high tax on smoking, easy and cheap access to quit programs and various drug-based therapies — we are talking implants now I hear — these nuisance bans are not likely to help.

  29. Another one Fran is that every supermarket which sells tobacco should have to have quit smoking aids sold alongside the cigarettes instead of having them stuck out of view up next to the condoms.

  30. Aren’t you lucky? You have woken up with the news today that you must elect Mal Brough back into parliament so that he can become Prime Minister!”

    Yeehaaa!!! Good old Mal!…

    We need a an ex-military character as PM…make sure the younguns do some time in the forces and be prepared for any eventuality…includin’ an outbreak of anarchy Australia-wide.

    He can get the ALP’s Brumby to setup boot camps for him.

    Them big miners need a rough & tough fella to stomp on hippy Greens & Aboriginal land right’s activists in order to claim what’s rightfully theirs.

    Roll across the North…cattle & casinoes…rollin, rollin. rollin’…

    We need a manly man…someone who can man-up when need be…softly spoken one moment…roarin’ w/ a SNAP TO ATTENTION voice the next.

    This country needs its ass/arse kicked.

    And obviously “action man” isn’t the fella to do it.

    Bring in Sarge Mal…a man w/ real vision & negotiatin’ skills:

    Brough ‘bullying’ Wadeye into signing 99-year lease

    Posted Fri Nov 17, 2006

    The council for the Northern Territory’s largest Indigenous community says the Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister is bullying the people of Wadeye into signing a 99-year lease.

    The Thamurrur Council’s acting chief executive Dale Seaniger says Mal Brough is withholding almost $10 million for new housing until the community signs a lease on his terms.

    The voluntary lease scheme was part of amendments to the Land Rights Act passed in August this year.

    But Mr Seaniger says the Minister is using as a bargaining chip, money that has already been allocated to Wadeye.

    “He’s held up $9.5 million in housing funding,” he said.

    “Initially he said he was holding it up until our people stop fighting and we’re told the day before yesterday that the $9.5 million that’s been frozen in a trust account in Darwin won’t be freed up until this lease is signed.

    “That’s bullying tactics.”

    More here:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2006/11/17/1791655.htm

    N’

  31. It’s Saturday and I just did something! Saturdays are traditionally my ‘do nothing days’ but I broke the mould and actually did something.

    I turned on the dishwasher. This was an extraordinary move which required me to bend down, place a finger on the ‘Start’ button, and push gently on said button.

    I now need to rest.

    This will be easy to achieve. Will be joining some mates for a big night of dining and wining. I’ll probably surface around lunchtime tomorrow and will be putting up a fun thread titled ‘Where are they now?’

    I have been doing one other thing today; thinking. Have been wondering if anything bad will happen to the clown who cut my hair today. Will karma hunt him down? Will he be charged with fraud over the coming weeks? Will he be placed in a zoo?

    He made me look ugly while robbing me of all my money. FAIL. 😦

  32. On the subject of poker machines..

    VICTORIA will be hit with tough new federal taxes to rein in problem gambling if the Baillieu government refuses to sign up to new technology forcing poker machine players to set binding limits on their losses.

    Obviously the gambling addiction industry is not going to take it lying down..and it is indeed an industry based on an addication as problem gamblers are the basic source of income for the industry.

    The gambling industry is set to launch an ad blitz against the changes based on the campaign waged by the mining industry against Labor’s resources tax.

    The above quotes are from: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/sign-pokie-deal-or-pay-more-tax-state-told-20101211-18ti4.html

  33. Min,
    Interesting, isn’t it, that the ‘Just Say No! to Drugs’ liberal Party are the most gung-ho recipients of campaign cash and proselytisers and apologists for those addictions that are legal? Like Tobacco and Gambling. Of course, neither side of politics wishes to antagonise the biggest legal addiction lobby of all, nor turn down the money of, the alcohol industry.
    Man, it’s so hard trying to get through to impressionable 15 year olds, as in my son and his friends, about the dangers of cigarettes, alcohol and gambling. I’ve had a win on Maccas though!

  34. As for the ad blitz against problem gambling, I wonder if it’ll be centred around Channel 10, now that Packer and that evil witch, Gina Rheinhart have got their grubby claws into it?
    I also wonder if all those A Current Affair, and Today Tonight stories about problem gamblers that have lost the lot, or been found out leaving their kids in cars for hours in Casino car parks, will magically disappear from the archives and our TV screens?

  35. Migs,
    One of my sons has an evil hairdresser story. I took him along for a trim to get it out of his eyes, as you do with kids today who want to test the limits of the word ‘fringe’, and so I placed him into the hands of the guy down at the local mall.
    I sat back, and with increasing horror, saw my son’s lovingly-cultivated Justin Beiber hair affair disappear into a Graduation cut, which basically equals a short, back and sides! He was horrified. I was horrified. So horrified I mentioned it to the haridresser on the spot, instead of saying my usual polite “Thank You”.
    You know what he said? “Well, you asked for a trim and that’s what I thought you meant!” Then, “You’ll have to be more specific next time.” !!!!!!!!!
    There never will be a next time.
    We have since found a new hairdresser who does just what he wants. And well.

  36. Hi Min/FS.

    Indeed, that a young mother locked her baby in a car while she raced in to play the pokies, and that the baby tragically died from the heat, was a big story for the tabloids some years ago. Will such stories be publicised after the Liberals openly stand by their greedy robber barons now that it is obvious they are sleeping with the media?

  37. migs, I’ve always followed the tenet that hairdressers, like dentists, are there to inflict pain. Certainly ‘No places for old men’! Or ducks and rabbits.

    Being naturally handsome like yourself the pain is usually short lived. I find I’m still molested by voluptuous women both before and after I’ve been to the hairdressers. No so after the dentist tho…wonders????

  38. FS, not being one to brag and being a modest sort of chap, I’ll have you know I was a bit of a heartthrob in my younger days.

    Total chick magnet.

  39. Rules and regulations are always going to put some people off side but to label the smoking ban as discrimination is moral outrage too far.

    The Melbourne Cup Public holiday was in place for 2 years only. You are correct, however, in saying that it was reversed because the food vendors lost a motza when the workforce was not there to order up for that in office luncheon around the TV tuned to Flemington.

    I support de-criminalisation of drugs and therefore would not argue for cigarettes to be made illegal. But that does not mean that I should be exposed to cigarette smoke in any circumstance.

    Eating-out has been problematic in the ACT since the indoor smoking ban was first introduced some 20 years ago. This is because diners either have to run the gauntlet of smokers at outdoor tables and/or suffer the smoke from staff who nip out the back or the front to drag on a fag. Many smokers seem totally oblivious to the fact that their smoke is wafting back into the indoor dining area.

    I welcome the ban against smoking and it should be within a wide radius of where food is being served.

  40. Tosca, nice to see you again. It wouldn’t bother me if smoking was banned; what bothers me is the hypocrisy of our law makers who are quite happy for people to gamble their earnings away, as long as they don’t smoke while doing it.

    Many smokers commented that they lost less money after smoking was banned inside the club. They would go outside for ten minutes for a ciggie and a drink and put a reserve sign on their machine. That’s ten minutes where a machine wouldn’t be played, costing the club and the government ‘valuable’ revenue.

  41. “I support de-criminalisation of drugs and therefore would not argue for cigarettes to be made illegal. But that does not mean that I should be exposed to cigarette smoke in any circumstance.”

    I generally agree Tosca. I think the war on crime in regard to weed is just plain stupid & a waste of money. It leads to crime syndicates & regular folk bein’ punished unfairly.

    Many people get medicinal benefits & relaxation out of it…and know how to enjoy themselves responsibly.

    Their should be an age limit on it, like booze…and it should be taxed.

    Make for a better society I reckon. Why the fck should good people have to feel paranoid & panicked off & on because their drug of choice is forbidden? Or have aspects of their life ruined? Dumb stuff. Society w/ it’s head in the sand. Needs to grow up.

    As for the tobacco…I’d like to see more natural, organic stuff. Pipe tobacco & cigars. My grandpop smoked real tobacco in a pipe from the age of mid teens & he lived til his mid 90s.

    The other stuff is toxic.

    As for eatin’ areas…I reckon there should be an area for the likes of Migs. I don’t like to see too many restrictions…but should also be an area outside for non-smokers. And definitely none inside.

    Tho, I don’t mind weed cafes. Like in Amsterdam.

    N’

  42. Nas’ re “I think the war on crime in regard to weed is just plain stupid & a waste of money. It leads to crime syndicates & regular folk bein’ punished unfairly.

    Many people get medicinal benefits & relaxation out of it…and know how to enjoy themselves responsibly.”

    I agree absolutely. It’s a ridiculous situation that the police should be wasting valuable resources chasing after kids with sniffer dogs while the drug barons are free to pursue their various interests; hard drugs, gambling and prostitution.

  43. Miglo @ 5.27. Many clubs up our way have now removed those Reserve signs thus ensuring that gamblers cannot leave their machines to go out for a smoke but have to play their money out first. The clubs are crafty b*ggers aren’t they!

  44. “wasting valuable resources chasing after kids with sniffer dogs while the drug barons are free to pursue their various interests; hard drugs, gambling and prostitution.”

    Well said Min.

    N’

  45. For anyone interested in drugs issues this one co-written by my criminal law lecturer David Heilpern is a worthy read:

    “Rough Deal: Your guide to drug laws (David Heilpern with Steven Bolt). Redfern Legal Centre Publishing, 1998 (2nd edition 2006).”

    It’s written in plain English and is the best start for anyone caught on the wrong side of the law.

  46. I don’t smoke or play the pokies, they have absolutely no character. I’d much rather go to the races; loads of atmosphere and exercise hurdling the bookies ring.

    Migs, I had my hair done Saturday as well, however I obviously had much more luck than you did.

  47. Many people get medicinal benefits & relaxation out of it…and know how to enjoy themselves responsibly.

    Anyone we know? 😉

    Why the fck should good people have to feel paranoid & panicked off & on because their drug of choice is forbidden?

    Because its illegal? Because parents, family and friends have to pick up the pieces?

    As for the tobacco…I’d like to see more natural, organic stuff

    Haven’t scientist proven that tobacco is carcinogenic and the prime cause of emphysema?

    Unbelievable …

    … sorry, Migs, I can’t help myself!

  48. TB, I personally would like drugs such as weed and heroin available on a doctor’s prescription thereby taking it off the streets but available to people who need it for pain management, plus for addiction management.

    A former neighbor when we were living in Mt Evelyn was told by his GP that the only thing that would relieve his chronic back pain was marijuana. He queried the doctor about where to find it. The GP’s reply to him was to ask his teenage son. A very cruel situation where people living with chronic and terminal illnesses cannot obtain these most useful of medications.

  49. Min, just prescribe opium based meds would work much quicker … I am aware of most of the “legalise marijuana” arguments … betel nut numbs the body (and mind) but spitting red buai juice everywhere and bright red teeth is not a good look …

    http://www.wikihow.com/Chew-Betel-Nut-in-Papua-New-Guinea

    .. pot doesn’t actually relieve pain – according to those that take it you get high and don’t give a $#!t about anything – including pain – problem is you will also generally become disfunctional …

    … I can assure you I’ve seen enough of it and the careers its ended … my drug of choice is alcohol (never touched pot, uppers, downers etc – all readily available – and for free – in the Green Room in my teenage years) … most weed smokers I know drink as well – usually heavily …

    I’m also one of those paranoid people who believe marijuana often leads to “harder” drugs … and anyone who thinks pot isn’t addictive hasn’t seen my friend’s twenty-something … or his withdrawal when he goes into “private clinic”!

  50. “I can assure you I’ve seen enough of it and the careers its ended … my drug of choice is alcohol”

    Yes, alcohol doesn’t end careers…doesn’t lead to broken families…families pickin’ up the pieces.

    I wonder how many families & friends of drinkers, includin’ those perhaps who enjoy a peaceful smoke, have had to tolerate their rants, outbursts & aggressivity? And their hypocrisy? Their spending?

    In fact, it is also my drug of choice, alcohol…thnx to my asthma weed just doesn’t do it for me.

    How many times have those who don’t drink visited hospitals to see the rows of sufferin’ & dyin’ from that particular drug of choice, alcohol? I lay in a hospital recently w/ the ill & dyin’…and a number said they wish they had quit smoking, drinkin’ and eatin’ fatty foods long ago.

    Are we not better to go after those who add further poisons/toxins to the product…for profiteerin’ reasons…to also create addiction…those who hide their grotesque motivations…and use lawyers & politicians to defend their morally bankrupt, oft criminal behaviour?…rather than persecutin’ users.

    Frankly, I would hate to see alcohol banned, made illegal because of those very same reasons I’ve stated above. I’d hate to see the drinkers persecuted…filled w/ fear & paranoia as they have to go underground to search for their drug of choice. Put in jail & losin’ jobs due to their enjoyment.

    Prohibition in America failed abysmally…as has the prohibition on marijuana.

    Religion kills. Wrecks lives. As do automobiles. Shall we make them “illegal” too?

    They won’t be…too many corporate aristocrats, the influential find them useful tools…even enjoy them…profit from them. As they do alcohol.

    N’

  51. Personally, my default position is that an activity should be legal, with the onus on those saying it should be restrained to offer adequate grounds.

    For me, “adequate grounds” amounts to “places an unreasonable burden upon non-consenting others”. These burdens can include all the forms one can imagine under “nuisance” or cost.

    The burdens, nuisances or costs have to be more than notional. They have to infringe either compelling claims (your right not to have your life chances arbitrarily prejudiced) or your access to common resources unfairly curtailed.

    As long as these burdens are trivial (or would cost more to abate than to endure, or infringe other important usages) we endure the activity, even if we don’t approve. If they exceed this standard, then we regulate until the burden is trivial.

    This is where marijuana sits for me. It seems to me that the most significant burdens may be to do with health costs associated with respiratory dysfunction. We could abate these by having THC/CBD patches.

    It’s true that in some cases people develop a cultural obsession with mood altering substances, much as people do with convenience “foods”, gambling, PC Gaming, alcohol or other elements of contemporary life. A legal regime would lower the costs of addressing those with genuine problems, and certainly, it would be less than the cost of policing prohibition, which include not merely the cost of the police but the cost of them being corrupted. It is said that the total cost of Australia’s “war on drugs” is about $4bn pa. That sounds a touch light to me, but if this is all it is, it is far too much for what is or could be a minor nuisance at worst.

    Speaking personally, I can’t begin to imagine where mood-altering drugs would fit into my life — and I include alcohol in that. Once in the proverbial blue moon I’ll sip politely at a glass of red or white as part of the culture of conviviality (I just wish it didn’t taste as dreadful!) but I see no reason to condemn others who feel more at ease with themselves when affected. People who get blotto are of course rather boring at best.

    So for mine, I’d create a legal regime for each of the major recreational drugs, have people register, create secure provenance, survey higher usage registrants regularly to establish that they were still OK with themselves and leave it at that. The black market would disappear pretty much immediately as they simply couldn’t compete, even allowing that legal supplies were more expensive. Quality and certainty are key.

  52. It’s the confusing standards that I don’t like. In the ACT you can smoke in the outdoor areas but you are not allowed any form of entertainment, whereas entertainment can be enjoyed inside the club.

    Hence, the TV’s have been removed from the outdoor areas.

    People can write themselves off with booze, become loud, abusive and obnoxious, yet they are entitled to be entertained.

    Whilst I visit a very large club, during the footy finals I found it too rough and rowdy inside the club near the big TV screens, so I wandered outside to watch the footy in a more relaxed environment.

    I will no longer be able to do that. I will have to put up with the drunken hoons in future. The law says they are allowed to be entertained. Those wishing to escape their unsocial behaviour by going outside will not be allowed to be entertained.

    It doesn’t make any sense.

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