Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Tuesday 25 July, 02006

by Matthew Bartlett @ 9:03 am

Newest flatmate F started to teach B and me tango yesterday evening & it was some window on a different and good world, and I suppose it’s the expected thing but I want to be Latin and feisty and upright and moving lockstep with my opposite, the end of the rainbow for a hundred metaphors. But first I have to learn how to walk, she said, that is the important thing.

Website prototyper
Stirring up the US Green party

27 responses to “”

  1. What’s the point in a prototyper that outputs table-based code ow?

  2. Matthew says:

    O good point, I didn’t check that, ick.

  3. dennis bartlett says:

    The green article was a goody much of what he said applies here however I will never vote green while they remain soft on the weed and I think this one issue is the cause of much reluctance by the electorate here as well particually amongst old codgers such as I.

  4. Tim says:

    Interesting debate that one about legalising the Mary Jane.

  5. dennisbartlett says:

    “no brainer”

  6. Give me one reason why dope is illegal when alcohol is not.

    A reason, that is, not a pot-shot.

    I made a pun.

  7. dennisbartlett says:

    it stuffs the brain particularly inmotivation and concentration
    it is implicit in birth defects as the THC lodges in the fat in your testicles
    induces paranoia
    detrimental to mental health
    For more info re read “The Great Brain Robbery” by Tom Scott
    [*censored* by MHJB]

  8. My experience, both through personal use and knowing many others who opt to smoke cannabis, is that there is no noticeable long-term drop in motivation and concentration after a short period of abstinence. Obviously, when you are actually using the drug, your motivation and concentration levels change – there are times when this is a good thing. Like when you have a small smoke after a stressful day at work and find yourself actually able to relax. (Basically the same effect as having a couple beers after work – without the 600kJ of energy and 24g of carbohydrates from every bottle [src].)

    I don’t believe birth defects are a serious risk to the children of responsible users. Though if you were ‘smoking your head off’ constantly for a period of time, of course you are asking for trouble. Nor have I experienced, nor know anyone who has experienced serious cannabis-induced paranoia. This might have to do with the fact that I only know fairly responsible smokers.

    As for the link to mental health – I admit I wouldn’t know for certain. I don’t think ‘mental health’ is a thing that moves smoothly up and down a scale, and that using cannabis necessarily makes you go down the scale. I believe that it is possible that cannabis use has a direct effect on mental health, but it is more likely that a user’s mental health is affected more by the motivations that cause him to smoke. To clarify, if someone with a traumatic past were smoking heavily to block that out, then I’m sure the repressed trauma would have a more negative effect on their mental health than the cannabis in and of itself. I believe this is true in the positive sense as well: after working a 10 hour shift in a busy kitchen, I am wired, irritable, distracted, aggressive – in a word, stressed. Smoking a small amount of cannabis gives me the very distinct sensation of relieving that pent-up stress, and allows me to do whatever I had planned for the evening without being weighed down by the cares and stresses of work. I see this ability to relax more effectively as a blessing and a benefit to my mental health. The difference between the two examples is that my stresses, while very real and with a very noticeable effect, are essentially inconsequential and therefore it is not unhealthy to ‘smoke them away’.

    It’s the same story for any poison: alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, sugar, oxygen – they are useful substances that have the potential for responsible use, and for dangerous abuse. And yet only one of the things on that list is illegal. And that is the crux of my issue with current legislation – the double standard between alcohol and cannabis. One is a valuable tax-gathering resource ($1b in 2001) and the other is the scourge of the lower classes, an open doorway to the criminal underworld, the chief cause of Reefer Madness…

    Criminalizing cannabis just doesn’t seem realistic or consistent.

  9. dennis bartlett says:

    yeah right what would I know

  10. Bel says:

    yeah I have to side with Richard D’s argument here.

    alcohol is going to have just as many detrimental effects on you physically & mentally and yet our society/justice system/whatever has decided its totally ok to indulge in that and not pot. I look around the small town I grew up in, Courtenay place on the weekend, dare I say it- my family- and see the damage that alcohol abuse has done and it seems like a pretty arbitrary decision.

    Also, another 2 cents , clink clink: I have epilepsy –not full blown, but even with ‘simple partial’ you still get bunged on medication to help sort it out and alcohol has a pretty adverse effect on that. Smoking weed, however, is quite the opposite.
    So if I’m at a party or whatever, it makes way more sense for me to get high then get drunk…besides which I like it :)

  11. Matthew Baird says:

    Hmm. As to the mental health issue. There have been a number of studies showing that smoking pot during your developmental years (ie- teens) will have a serious impact on your mental development. This effect, however seems to be entirely genetically linked, so if you have the wrong ‘genes’ (alleles would be a better term for it) you buggered, if not, there was (according to the studies anyhoo) no direct link to potsmoking and mental health.

    Mostly a lot of ‘dangerous’ pot smokers are troubled already, poor, etc. If one is to seriously look at the dangers of such a drug, one must be able to seperate out all the other associated societal issues if possible before drawing any conclusive links.

    As to overuse. Sure that would cause problems. Just the same for sugar or alcohol, as RDB has already mentioned. Someone over ‘uses’ refined sugars all the time. Result – likely diabetes or suchlike. Alcohol overuse – well you see it all the time with alcoholism and such too. I don’t see many people pushing for banning of refined sugars or alcohol.

    Heck, in the case of alcohol, recent studies have shown that foetal alcohol syndrom can result from a woman drinking SIX standard drinks in a week (I’m gonna check that number tomorrow just to make sure I’m not pulling figures out of the air) pre/during pregnancy. That’s right. In most people’s books that really is bugger all. I wonder if six standard joints would be much worse?

    Personally, I would like praps alcohol to be a little less available and mebe maryjane on an approximately similar footage. Still for me, the fact that at the moment MJ is infact illegal is enough of a motivant for me not to smoke it. Or something.

  12. re 9: I assumed what you would know would be the obvious benefits of locking up potheads. Which you might care to share with us…

  13. Deborah says:

    Richard, after work, have you tried just a nice cup of tea?

  14. Hans says:

    re 8, what would you know about long term effects, you have not been alive long-term.

    How coherent is it to use your own brief experience of THC and your own subjective analysis of your own functioning as evidence of THC’s benignity?

    RDB, Why is taking an already illegal drug a good way to deal with your maladaptive response to a working day?

    re 11, how does eating sugar cause diabetes?

  15. I based my long-term analysis both on my experience and the experiences of my aquaintances, some of whom have indeed “been alive long-term”.

    How coherent is it for me to use my experiences as a yardstick to judge a substance by? I’d say it is the only way I know how.

    Maladaptive? Maybe. But show me one chef who isn’t stressed out and I’ll show you a bad chef. And as for the question of it being a good way to deal with that stress, in my experience it is the best way!

  16. Tim says:

    I prefer to get high from reading blogs.

  17. Matthew Baird says:

    Excessive sugar consumption, long term (esp. processed types) is one of the causes of type 2 ( I think its that one) diabetes. That is, your body becomes overdosed with insulin effectively, thus it starts building up a tolerance to it. Late onset diabetes and all that carryon.

  18. Bel says:

    just to butt in…but #13 -Deborah’s comment to Richard D- from the epilepsy angle again, caffiene is such a bad idea: your brain thinks its the same thing that usually stops you having siezures, so have a cup o tea and it’ll drop those chemical levels right down, which causes problems.

    so, therefore: smoking pot: the lesser of the evils?! hmmm :)

  19. Allan says:

    everyone needs to discover the nakhila… or hookah pipe. thats my drug/not drug at all of choice.

  20. Hans says:

    RDB, sorry.

    M Baird, I think that you will find that genetically linked, obesity induced insulin resistance is the actual cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Caloric excess would be the trigger for the genetic predisposition to result in glucose intolerance but carbohydrate is not a toxin in this model.

  21. Sambo says:

    Im with Allan. I also like to eat things.

  22. Remdur says:

    Re: 15

    “But show me one chef who isn’t stressed out and I’ll show you a bad chef.”

    What utter nonsense. Why is being stressed the mark of a good chef? The best chefs I have ever worked with were the calmest, most laid-back people I know. And it wasn’t the pot.

    They had learned, over time, to deal with anything that came their way.

    Maintaining that zen-like state of perpetual calmness, despite all the crap coming their way each and every service, can only be attained with experience.

    The stressed chefs (like moi) are usually the beginners. They aren’t good chefs or bad chefs – just inexperienced.

    In the long-term, the kitchen doesn’t tolerate stress-monkeys, adrenaline-junkies, or addicts of any kind. They simply do not last physically or emotionally.

    But then chefs aren’t the only ones who get stressed. Lots of people working in all sorts of jobs become stressed. Try being a lawyer, a forex trader, a policeman.

    Or a doctor. I don’t know about you, but I’m not too keen on the idea of stressed-out junior doctors deciding smoking pot works best for them…

    Have you tried walking home? Good way to unwind.

  23. Rudy says:

    Re: 18

    Smoking pot isn’t the lesser of two evils – last time I checked, it was the more ILLEGAL of these two evils.

    I dunno, obeying the law, even stupid laws, is still important to some people…

    Hey, if you don’t like it, you have the right to do everything you can to get the law changed.

    Otherwise, what’s the point of having laws in the first place? And the police for enforcing said laws?

  24. annabartlett says:

    re 18: you could always have caffeine-free herbal teas.
    mmmm licorice flavoured…

  25. D says:

    One way to have the law changed is to disobey it. That is what everyone did with the ‘tv tax’ – and it worked. It seems to be a legitimate option in a democratic society like ours. In Dunedin, students (so inclined) go and smoke dope outside the police station once a year, I understand and the police go out the back so they don’t have to see anything. This implicitly allows for dope to be quasi-legal.

    I have never smoked dope (and from seeing people who do so regularly, and this is quite unfair, I have no desire to). I have three flatmates who do, one of whom has bipolar. I hate the smell incidentally.

    I suspect that dope makes people excessively introspective, and agree with M Baird that until the early 20s, excessive use of drugs may well cause long term harm.

    Also – I like to be slightly drunk but not excessively so. Can you do the same thing with Mary Jane?

    In general, from a Christian point of view all I would say relaxing via excessive use of either drugs or alcohol would seem incompatible with too much of the christian way of life.

    However if anyone wants to be stoned 24/7 that’s up to them. There’s enough cautioning material around that I think the responsibility should fall on their own head although I would rather not pick up their medical bills later (or even earlier) in life. In short, I think drug users should bear the full risk of their pleasure.

    I met a drug dealer for the first time in my life a few months ago. He’s three years younger than me, still studying and owns his own house. May his unrighteous riches perish with him!

  26. Matthew B says:


    Soon as I saw the request I knew I was being shot down. But persistance is all. I bow to your superior knowledge on the matter.


    Here here. Sometimes I think a big enough punishment for breaking laws such as these is to say: Oh well, you are responsible for the consequences. Governmentally speaking (seeing as they should look for the best for society) also leaving the way open for individuals to step in and give them a hand if they are so inclined. Or sommin along those lines.

    Also, personally I find myself perfectly satisfactorily happy without the use of smoke-stuffs or alcohol. Why this is the ase I know not.

  27. aaron says:

    Maybe the only stand-out pot-smokers are those who have been adversely effected. It’s possible there are plenty of unaffected users walking around normally. But I’ve seen too many bad cases to be comfortable with RDB’s dismissal of long-term effects. And yet he brings up other good points.

    One of those is the presence of underlying problems that are revealed rather than caused by MJ (#8). But this may be a red herring. MJ isn’t rendered benign if it doesn’t cause mental problems. It is benign only if it doesn’t trigger or uncover or exacerbate mental problems that (a) could have remained dormant, (b) could have been treated, (c) could have been less severe without MJ.

    I know two young men whose lives were/are ruined by MJ. Good home, good opportunities, mild levels of trauma in their lives, add MJ and it all goes to pot. That scares me.

    One of the reasons I stayed away from MJ during my mid-twenties was the strong sense that it would wreck my then-delicate mental/emotional state, and send me into a spin. But even with that danger gone, I’m not inclined to indulge – partly because I don’t want to be the cause of someone else’s bold folly.

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