Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Break in the Weather

We're over the hump of winter. Not only are the days getting longer, calendar mid-winter has been and gone. So has the rain, thank Dagg. That's the thing about NZ. The weather might be pluvial, even inclement at times. But it does pass. Suck on that, Blighty Summer.

The break in the weather couldn't come soon enough. These wild swings experienced at the ends of the earth require heavy defences. A creative drug regimen only goes so far, when was is really needed is some sun and a mild breeze in the hair.

As opposed to the gales that blew my bastard goNZo flag right off the flagpole, sending it somewhere south-east one howling night, or the banshee blast that knocked the neighbour's big bastard tree onto the front lawn. The frosts that fridged my flat, forcing the cat to seek refuge in the bed next to the hot water bottle.

But back to the drugs. It's good to see Labour's drug guy, Iain Lees-Galloway, backing off minimum pricing of alcohol and considering more rational options. There's no need to infantilise the country and sterilise it of all possible harms. Especially when so many Labour activists are advertising their epicurean pursuits so wantonly on Facebook. The trivial pursuits of the middle classes more closely match those of the working classes than those of the rarefied golf, bridge and Northern Club gentry, so a ceasefire on that hypocritical front seems wise.

However, there's still a hint of naivete and puritanism in there. Take the clean zones around schools, for example. Booze is not the issue around these areas. It's the brand recognition of other, more relevant, drugs which concern kids; fat, sugar, salt. Nana's nagging the wrong niche here.

On the other side of the House, drug tzar Peter Dunne has announced the 'world first' regulated artificial cannabis market, which I presume will be as meaningful as the Schedule D component of the Misuse of Drugs Act, which currently sits with a vacant schedule, just waiting for a single legal high to be approved.

What the flying buggery Jesus does "Mostly Harmless" mean exactly? Does the artificial cannabis have to be more or less harmful than tobacco, alcohol, Prozac, Coke or Viagra before it is permitted to be sold? Ever tried a bottle of low-risk alcohol or a pill of placebo-strength paracetamol? It's rubbish.

Can't they just bring back BZP and go back to the devil they know? Of course they won't. Dunne has just announced a more creative way to just say no to substitutes of the incumbent medicine men in beer, wine and spirits.

It's enough to make you want to clutch all the wine, coffee, cigarettes and herbiage all the much closer to the chest. If the wowsers don't get them, the control freaks will.