The Daily Blog Open Mic – Wednesday 14th June 2017




Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

Moderation rules are more lenient for this section, but try and play nicely.




  1. Come and meet Gareth and the Opportunities Party at:


    Find out more at:

    CARE. Think. Vote. TOP The Opportunities Party

  2. So why is cannabis and medicinal cannabis outlawed in New Zealand and why is fentanyl used on New Zealand’s elderly, particularly women, in hospitals as a pain killer?! ( questions for NZ political parties)

    ‘Underground labs in China are devising potent new opiates faster than authorities can respond’

    Fentanyl is killing off young Americans…questions need to be asked in parliament if it is also killing off New Zealanders? ( when cannabis and medicinal cannabis is outlawed)….and why are hospitals using it on our New Zealand elderly?!…are doctors being paid by pharmaceutical companies to prescribe Fenanyl?

    ‘Drug Overdoses Now The Leading Killer Of American Adults Under 50’

    “The opioid crisis that is ravaging urban and suburban communities across the US claimed an unprecedented 59,000 lives last year, according to preliminary data gathered by the New York Times. If accurate, that’s equivalent to a roughly 19% increase over the approximately 52,000 overdose deaths recorded in 2015, the NYT reported last year.

    Overdoses, made increasingly common by the introduction of fentanyl and other powerful synthetic opioids into the heroin supply, are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. And all evidence suggests the problem has continued to worsen in 2017. One coroner in Western Pennsylvania told a local newspaper that his office is literally running out of room to store the bodies, and that it was recently forced to buy a larger freezer.

    The initial data points to large increases in these types of deaths in states along the East Coast, particularly Maryland, Florida, Pennsylvania and Maine. In Ohio, which filed a lawsuit last week accusing five drug companies of abetting the opioid epidemic, the Times estimated that overdose deaths increased by more than 25 percent in 2016…

    … bribery and corruption:

    ‘One company symbolises everything sickening about the opioid crisis’

    “Insys Therapeutics makes a spray version of the powerful opiate fentanyl, which is many times stronger than morphine.

    The company pays speakers fees to doctors, some of whom have had their licenses suspended or face jail time for overprescribing the drug. In Connecticut, a nurse admitted to taking kickbacks in exchange for prescribing the drug.

    Insys faces federal inquiries and questions from lawmakers about its practices, including alleged promotion of the drug for off-label uses…

    ‘Prince’s death drug prescribed to New Zealand’s elderly’

    “The drug that killed popstar Prince is being prescribed to New Zealand’s elderly in record numbers, prompting a warning from the Government health watchdog.

    The spike in prescriptions of fentanyl – a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin – is being described as “opioid rain” by alarmed medical professionals.

    An investigation has found rates of prescribing have doubled in rest homes in four years, while doctors are dishing out strong opioids to already frail over-80s around 10 times more often than to those under 65. Prescription rates varied wildly between regions…

    … the NZ statistics: ‘Health Quality & Safety Commission New Zealand’ 2014-2016

    “Key messages:

    Strong opioid use continues to increase.

    The level of variation between DHBs in strong opioid use has decreased from three-fold to two-fold.

    Rates of strong and weak opioid dispensing are statistically higher in people of European/Other ethnicity, women and people aged 80 and over.

    Almost half of those dispensed a strong opioid had a ‘trigger event’ in a public hospital in the week prior, suggesting these prescriptions are generated in hospital.

    Oxycodone use continues to decrease, which is a positive finding, given the risks associated with this medicine.

    Rates of fentanyl use are low, but are increasing and there is wide variation in use (more than 12-fold).”…

    Questions :

    which DHBs/hospitals are prescribing fentanyl ? which public and private hospitals/resthomes are using fentanyl the most?; which doctors use fentanyl? ( sex and ethnicity of these doctors? experience and seniority of these doctors?); what are the hospital policies on fentanyl?; are there kick backs from pharmaceutical companies for prescription ( as in the USA)?; to whom is this deadly drug prescribed?; what death rates in the elderly who have been prescribed this?; is it used on non- cancer patients?; is it used for pain relief ? ( illegal in the USA); medicinal cannabis is far less addictive and lethal..why is it not prescribed for our vulnerable New Zealand elderly for pain? ; what are the explicit overt and ‘hidden’ agendas for using fentanyl in New Zealand hospitals on non cancer patients? ; is there any doctor and hospital accountability? … why is it prescribed most on our most vulnerable elderly , particularly European /Other ethnicity ,women over 80? ( “Rates of strong and weak opioid dispensing are statistically higher in people of European/Other ethnicity, women and people aged 80 and over” ); issues of sexism and ageism?; issues of ‘euthanasia’ without consent ?

    The New Zealand elderly ( particularly New Zealand women)who have paid taxes and their dues to New Zealand society all their lives .. for a quality public health care system …need these questions answered .

  3. ‘Drugged Driving Now Causes More Fatal Crashes Than Drunk Driving’

    …”Crash Risk Associated With Drugs

    According to the report, marijuana accounted for 35 percent of fatally injured drivers found to have drugs in their system; amphetamines accounted for 9 percent, while more than half were caused by “other drugs.” In terms of crash risk, European studies have found the following associations, assuming a driver with no drugs or alcohol in their system has a relative crash risk assessment of 1:7

    Marijuana is associated with a slightly elevated risk, with a relative risk of 1 to 3 (increasing your crash risk by anywhere from 22 to 36 percent according to different studies)

    Opioids, cocaine and benzodiazepines are associated with a medium increased risk, with a relative risk of 2 to 10

    Amphetamines and/or multiple drug combinations are associated with a highly-elevated risk, with a relative risk of 5 to 30

    Drugs in combination are associated with an extremely elevated risk, with a relative risk of 20 to 200

    Opioids Versus Marijuana — Don’t Lose Sight of the Greater Issue
    While the report and most subsequent media articles have homed in on marijuana, let’s remember that the majority of the fatal crashes, over 50 percent, involved “other drugs,” and that opioids have a higher relative crash risk than marijuana.

    While 1 in 8 American adults (13 percent) reports smoking marijuana,8 the opioid problem surely outweighs recreational marijuana use. More than 259 million prescriptions for opioids are written in the U.S. each year9 — an astounding 1 in 5 patients with a pain-related diagnosis is prescribed opioids, and in some states opioid prescriptions outnumber the residents.10

    More than 12 million Americans report using prescription painkillers for nonmedical purposes11 and 2 million Americans over the age of 12 are addicted specifically to opioid painkillers.12,13 One in 4 Americans and 1 in 3 millennials reports knowing someone addicted to opioids.14

    Homing in on how the legalization of marijuana may impact road safety without saying a single word about the impact of opioids is just reprehensible. We cannot continue sweeping the matter of opioid overuse and addiction under the rug and simply point fingers at marijuana.

    Clearly, you should not drive if you’ve been smoking pot (CBC-based medical cannabis is different, as CBC does not have a psychoactive effect), but you also clearly should not drive if you’ve recently taken an opioid, even if you’re taking it as prescribed. The recent arrest of Tiger Woods15,16 highlights this common-sense advice…

  4. I’m damned if I can find any reports in the NZ media of the use of white phosphorus in Mosul, as admitted by NZ brigadier General McAslan on Wednesday in the Independent and several other news sources.
    Amnesty International and other humanitarian agencies have decried its use. I believe it’s illegal in populated areas.
    Amnesty says it’s use in civilian areas amounts to a war crime
    Two questions. How is it that a NZ military officer seems to be deeply involved in what may be a war crime?
    Has our “training mission” in Iraq changed with no notification to the public?

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