Friday, 26 February 2010

Bwrian Rears His Ugly head

We don’t hear from him for what seems like years and suddenly, WHAM!!! Brian Watters is back. And he’s back with a vengeance.  Maybe he felt overlooked because he was not nominated in the latest Bucket Head awards or he is pining for past glory as younger and better looking anti-drug nutters make a name for themselves. 

Australia High On Ecstasy List
February 2010

Australians are among the biggest users of ecstasy in the world, according to a United Nations report.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) says 36 per cent of the drug seized internationally had been destined for Australia.

Board member Major Brian Watters says Australia has been very successful at reducing drug deaths and the use of heroin.

But he says the result has been a move to drugs like ecstasy, which are regarded by many people as less dangerous.

"They don't kill people so they don't have that sort of immediate dramatic effect, but they do burn people's brains and cause very serious behavioural problems," he said.

"In the emergency wards and treatment centres they will tell you they'd much rather deal with a heroin addict than a person who has been on amphetamine who has become uncontrollable."


The board also found a dramatic increase in the amount of heroin being produced in Afghanistan, despite the fall in poppy production and its confinement mostly to three provinces.

Major Watters says the Taliban and other terrorist groups are continuing to finance their operations from drug production.

He says nobody knows exactly how much heroin is being produced, but it is a substantial industry.

"There's a wall of silence and the quantities they bring in of a substance called acetic anhydride has to be at a high level and highly organised," he said.

"And there'd be large shipments with road tankers with thousands and thousands of gallons, so it's a very secretive business of course, but we know they've now moved in and are now converting it into heroin."

Lets see how accurate, Brian is.

Board member Major Brian Watters says Australia has been very successful at reducing drug deaths and the use of heroin.

Watters still believes that under his guidance, the “Tough on Drugs” campaign and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) ended the heroin epidemic around 2000. Brian Watters and John Howard almost got RSI from the amount of back patting they inflicted on each other until Mick Kelty ruined the facade and confessed that the AFP had not much to do with the sudden demise of heroin flowing in from SE Asia. He concluded that the Burmese drug lords had simply switched to supplying high grade methamphetamines known as ice. Doh!

But he says the result has been a move to drugs like ecstasy, which are regarded by many people as less dangerous.
“They[ecstasy] don't kill people so they don't have that sort of immediate dramatic effect, but they do burn people's brains and cause very serious behavioural problems," he said. “In the emergency wards and treatment centres they will tell you they'd much rather deal with a heroin addict than a person who has been on amphetamine who has become uncontrollable.”

Some addicts do move to amphetamines when heroin is hard to purchase but rarely do they switch to ecstasy. It’s a great example of his ignorance when he put’s ecstasy in the same class as amphetamines. A common mistake because of MDMA is a type of amphetamine but being in a different class of drug, it has very different effects. You would think that someone from the INCB board who control and monitors drug policies worldwide would know this.

Watters said that most people regard ecstasy to be less dangerous than heroin - probably because it is. Still, you have to admire the skill Watters has for spinning anti-drug rhetoric. For example, there is too much evidence now that MDMA causes very few problems in the short term so he is forced to stop using the scary warnings he is used to. But since longer term harms are still being debated, he capitalised on the uncertainty and still manages to produce a message of fear. Decades of practice is paying off.

Major Watters says the Taliban and other terrorist groups are continuing to finance their operations from drug production.

All the bitchin’ in the world won’t hide the fact that heroin is only of value to terrorists because of UN drug policy. The UN and the INCB have the capacity to end the $400 billion annual black market for illicit drugs and the carnage that goes with it. Meanwhile, organised crime become incredibly rich and terrorists build up their cash reserves. Yet they plod on, decade after decade with their failed policies and moralistic messages while millions are sent to jail or banished to a life of misery. 

Brian Watters is responsible for many of Australia’s worst drug policy decisions. He helped John Howard shut down the proposed ACT heroin trials, alienated several members of the ANCD and had them removed, help establish Drug Free Australia (DFA) and defamed the reputation of The Salvation Army. He is a major critic of harm minimisation and even said:

Heroin addiction is a fate worse then death
-Brian Watters. Salvation Army, Board Member of the INCB

A staunch prohibitionist, he argues that alcohol prohibition in the US during the 1920/30s was a success.

It [alcohol prohibition] was the most lawful period in US history
-Brian Watters. Salvation Army, Board Member of the INCB

And if you’re not convinced Watters should never be allowed to dictate drug policy, there’s this:

Drug addiction is a sin
-Brian Watters. Salvation Army, Board Member of the INCB

The INCB is the ultimate anti-drug group. The Valhalla for anti-drug warriors, earthly heaven for anti-drug crusaders, the Mecca of reefer madness. The INCB monitors the implementation of U.N. drug control conventions worldwide which is very handy for the UN when they want to encourage rogue countries to do the right thing e.g keep harsh laws for drug use, not to promote too many harm reduction strategies etc. 

Many drug law reformists want the INCB disbanded. The current board consists of representatives from Russian, China, Nigeria and of course, Brian Watters who all support hardline prohibitionist drug policies. They have very few reporting requirements to the UN and can basically do what they want. There is no appeal process or any official channel to question their decisions. Many reformist groups see them as a secretive organisation, set up to do the dirty work for the US/UN under the UN banner.

The statement from Watters was not the only recent media announcement from the INCB. They have also criticised the Latin American countries that have started to rethink their drug policies by decriminalising drugs. And they put out a warning about the growing trend for abusing pharmaceutical drugs. Why all these statements from the INCB came at once is a mystery. Maybe they are sensing their own demise as the world starts questioning their role in the bloody battle against drug users?

Related Articles

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Heroin Clinic Opens In Denmark

Great news from Europe as Denmark finally opens the doors for their heroin assisted treatment (HAT) program. There was rumour of takeaway doses being allowed for the first time but it seems that again, political pressure from the right was too much. Patients diverting their heroin doses has been a concern for all HAT programs worldwide but logic is just too difficult for some when it comes to drugs. The simple truth is that, unlike methadone, patients have no incentive to sell their takeaway dose. Those who sell their methadone or buprenorphine, do so to buy heroin but why would a HAT patient sell their pharmaceutical quality heroin only to buy back street grade drugs? And it’s not like someone can bluff their way into a place on the program who doesn’t really need their daily heroin dose so they can on-sell it. I would dare say that takeaway doses of heroin would be guarded more carefully than the patient’s spouse.

It’s time the Australian government looked into HAT again now that John Howard has been banish to the great halls of shame. Whether Kevin Rudd also has deluded personal views on HAT should now be irrelevant as the verdict is in and two decades of mostly excellent results has shown this program to be highly successful. Even a trial is unnecessary. There is no longer any reasonable unknowns to argue against introducing a HAT program into Australia without sounding like John Howard and Bronwyn Bishop’s spotty faced love child. 

First Free Heroin Clinic Opens In Denmark
February 2010

COPENHAGEN — After years of contention, Denmark on Monday opened its first clinic equipped to distribute free heroin under medical supervision to people heavily addicted to the drug.

The Scandinavian country joins a number of countries like Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany to allow prescriptions for medicinal heroin, or diamorphine, to be written out to a small group of addicts so hooked on the substance that more traditional substitutes like methadone have no effect.

The clinic is set to serve only 120 of some 300 hard-core heroin addicts, or only about one percent of all drug addicts in the country.

"Our objective is not to cure heroin addicts, but to help those who are not satisfied by methadone by providing them with clean heroin, allowing them to avoid disease and the temptation of criminal acts to obtain the drug," a doctor and head of the clinic Inger Nielsen told AFP.

Only addicts who have been referred from a methadone centre for treatment and who voluntarily request to enter the clinic will be permitted to participate in the programme, Nielsen said.

They will be treated with methadone for the first 14 days "so we can determine how much heroin to prescribe," she added.

The Danish parliament passed a law legalising the distribution of medicinal heroin in 2008, but the opening of the clinic was delayed until the city of Copenhagen agreed to house the programme.

The User Association, a group representing drug addicts, remains critical, blasting that patients are required to go to the clinic twice a day, seven days a week, to receive their doses.

"This means living like a zombie, without being able to hold down a job or study or have hobbies," head of the association Joergen Kjaer told reporters.

Related Articles

Friday, 19 February 2010

Bucket Head of the Year Awards - 2009

In the ever evolving world of drug policy and treatment, there does remain one constant ... a continuous parade of murky politicians, selfish moralists and dubious opinion writers who share a common goal to demonise drug users at any cost. Any attempt to be sensible and pragmatic about drug use or drug treatment is abhorred by these people and they will go to great lengths to undermine these efforts. In the process, logic and reality is counteracted with carefully constructed propaganda, junk science and claims of moral decay. The problem is that the truth is not on their side and cracks will appear which may expose some farcical and often humorous attempts to appear legitimate. These are serious issues and the anti-drug zealots cause much pain, suffering and death but the sheer absurdities of their actions need to be highlighted. What better way to recognise their actions than to nominate them for an award. 

Sadly, some of the better known Bucket Heads were quiet over the last 12 months. Piers Akerhead, Fred Nile and last year’s winner, Anne Bressington were surprisingly reserved and dearly missed. Western Australia though was alive and well with Bucket Heads galore. And we had some great input from The Liberal Party with new Bucket Heads stepping up and making us proud. So without further ado, let me introduce to you, the second annual edition of The Australian Heroin Diaries - Bucket Head of the Year Awards - 2009.
NOTE: These awards are from an Australian perspective and are based on issues involving drug policy and drug treatment. Many nominees are probably guilty of various other deeds but these awards are for drug related issues. I assume I have left out many candidates and events so feel free to add your nominations. These are my personal opinions and if I have upset anyone, I am sorry. If you don't want to be involved in these awards ... don't give me a reason to nominate you.

Mass executions for International Drug Day [link]

Runners Up:

SE Asia
Death penalty for drug trafficking

No Methadone Maintenance Treatment(MMT)

Push for Mandatory Sentencing of Drug Crimes (Bill C-15) [link]

Foundation For A Drug Free World (FDFW)
QUOTE: They Lied - Find Out The Truth About Drugs 
(Ironically, FDFW are the most infamous group in the world known for lying about drugs - They are also part of the Scientology cult )  [link]

Runners Up:

Drug Free America Foundation (DFAF) 
QUOTE: Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. is a drug prevention and policy organization committed to developing, promoting and sustaining global strategies, policies and laws that will reduce illegal drug use, drug addiction, drug-related injury and death. (Not one goal has ever been met but actually increased) [link

The World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) 
QUOTE: The WFAD recognizes that civil society has the right to fact-based information about the risks and damage caused by drugs. All people have the right to be protected from the harms created by drug use. ( The so called “facts” put forward by WFAD are infamous for being exaggerated or simply not true. By far, the main harm to people from drug use has been due to the laws not from the drugs themselves) [link]

EURAD (Europe Against Drugs)
QUOTE: Drugs are illegal because they are dangerous; they are not dangerous because they are illegal. (This was taken from the slogan, Drugs are not illegal because they are dangerous; they are dangerous because they are illegal)

Drug Free Australia (DFA)
What can you say about an organisation that supports drug testing at work and school, shutting down MSIC, removing Harm Minimisation as our national drug policy, stopping needle exchanges, cutting back heavily on Opiate Maintenance Treatment(OMT) e.g. methadone, buprenorphine etc, tougher penalties for drug users, compulsory rehab etc. 

Runners Up:

National Cannabis Prevention And Information Centre (NCPIC) [link]
NCPIC started out by claiming to give proper, evidence based information on cannabis. Maybe it was their name that gave it away but soon they just became another anti-cannabis mouth piece mainly due to the choice of Dr. Jan Copeland as Director.  Dr Copeland is a very enthusiastic supporter of prohibition and a keen advocate of measures such as drug testing and drug treatment of – as she has it – cannabis addicts. Dr Copeland spends a lot of time and energy travelling the world to address conferences, spreading the prohibition message.

Drug Free Ambassadors (Australia) [link]
The Drug Free Ambassadors is a drug prevention program sponsored by the Church of Scientology

Familyvoice Australia (Festival Of Light) [link]
FamilyVoice Australia made several submissions to government enquiries, pushing for an end to harm minimisation. Citing the Standing Committee on Family and Community Affairs report from 2003 titled, The Road to Recovery and the heavily criticised, The Bishop Report: “The Winnable War on Drugs” from 2007, FamilyVoice Australia decried needle exchanges, methadone, MSIC, a heroin trial etc. Basically, all the strategies that work. [link 1] [link 2]

Judy Sheindlin
Judge Judy
Judge Judy and Cary Quashen during a debate claimed there are growing cases of “Marijuana Babies” being born addicted to pot.  [link]

Runners Up:

Herschel Baker
Drug Free Australia (DFA)
“The only reason that the death rate from illicit drugs is lower than that caused by alcohol abuse is that such drugs are illegal. Our current system of drug prohibition actually saves thousands of lives and billions of dollars in economic resources.” [link]

Luke Simpkin MP
The Liberal Party
“I would certainly like to endorse the permanent removal of children from drug-addicted parents. I would also like to endorse restrictions on methadone programs and the absolute elimination of funding for harm minimisation programs or harm minimisation publications. I believe that these are important steps forward to address the drug situation in this country.”

Sophie Mirabella MP
The Liberal Party
“Despite declaring a pre-election “war on drugs” in 2007, the Rudd Government has largely abandoned the “Tough on Drugs” initiative that was so successful under the Howard Government.”

Colin Barnett
Premier of WA (LP)

Runners Up:

• Sophie Mirabella (LP)
• Jamie Briggs (LP)
• Christian Porter (LP) 

The Federal Coalition
Taking up the recommendations in the The Bishop Report: “The Winnable War on Drugs” - 

Runners Up:

Australian Labor Party
Jenny Macklin MP
National rollout of compulsory income quarantining for welfare recipients 

The Liberal Party
Luke Simpkin MP
Taking up the recommendations in the The Bishop Report: “The Winnable War on Drugs”  [link]

In March, 2009 during a House debate, Luke Simpkin MP, canned harm minimisation and called for a policy of “Harm Prevention” better known as Zero Tolerance. He suggested taking up the recommendations of The Bishop Report: “The Winnable War on Drugs”. Here are some of his quotes:
-”I would certainly like to endorse the permanent removal of children from drug-addicted parents”
-”I would also like to endorse restrictions on methadone programs and the absolute illumination of funding for harm minimisation programs or harm minimisation publications”
-”but in the case of illicit drugs I think the hard line needs to be taken of harm prevention and never harm minimisation or harm reduction—or, otherwise, surrender to the scourge of illicit drugs”

The Liberal Party
Lawrence Springborg
Increasing drug related penalties to lower ambulance call out rates.

To counteract the increase in drug related ambulance call outs, Queensland Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg suggested the government just get tougher on drugs. [link]
"We've known for years that Queensland is the amphetamine capital of Australia and these figures show the problem is getting worse and yet this government has sat on its hands. We need zero tolerance to drugs, harsher penalties for people caught trafficking and supplying drugs, and money spent on better drug awareness campaigns rather than on ads promoting the Government."
-Queensland Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg

The Queensland Police Minister, Judy Spence responded with this cracker:

"Parents and indeed all members of the community need to join with government to help society understand that far from being harmless and recreational, illicit and illegal drugs can lead to hefty fines, prison sentences and in the cases of drug use, death". 
-Queensland Police Minister Judy Spence

With ambulance call outs rising in Queensland, there was no mention of what health factors are involved or whether contaminated drugs were hitting the streets. No mention that people were dying or dropping like flies. The only concern of the opposition was which party was toughest on drugs!

The WA Liberal Government
Repealing the WA cannabis laws

Runners Up:

The WA Liberal government
Stop and search laws in WA

Bill Shorten MP (ALP) / Tony Abbott MP (LP)
Promoting the program, How to Drug Proof Your Kids from the Christian fundamentalist anti-gay group, Focus on the Family who have some very dubious connections [link 1] [link 2]

The NSW Labor government
Removing a smoking exemption for mental health facilities [link]

Christian Democratic Party
The most un-Christian policy in Australia

Runners Up:

• Family First
• The Liberal Party
• The National Party

Web Deals: Crims Get Cheap SA Drugs Online
Adelaide Advertiser - Mark Schliebs [link]

The article was just a revamp of a story published on several other News Ltd websites albeit with their own unique headline. Sadly for The Advertiser, these forums have been around for many years and were for information only, there was no mention of “crims” anywhere in the story, the drug prices were not cheap, it was not SA specific and there was no deals done online. Pointless headline really.

Runners Up:

Drug User Rips Off His Scrotum
The CourierMail [link]

The War On Drugs Is Being Won
Sydney Morning Herald - Miranda Devine [link]

Drug Dealers And Users Can Google Up A Few Hits
Adelaide Advertiser - Ben Harvy And Lauren Zwaans [link]

The Drug Scourge

Runners Up:

Heroin Addicts Shame
By Laurie Nowell and Evonne Barry (Sunday HeraldSun) [link]

Drug User Rips Off His Scrotum
The CourierMail [link]

Cocaine Parties Thrive In Suburbia
By Jackie Sinnerton (CourierMail) [link]

It's about time ambulances stopped going out to drug OD calls or at the very least put them at the bottom of the priority list and just let the d**kheads lay in their own vomit. One day it could be you or a family member who has to wait for an ambulance because of the stupidity of one of the bottom dwellers and the consequences could be fatal. From now on no more tax payer funded support or medical intervention for drug users. I've had people close die from drug related issues and the rubbish they cause just isn't worth keeping them around. Let them dig their own graves.
-Posted by: Fed Up of the real world

Runners Up:

Let them die and overdose. They took this sh*t willingly. Sounds cruel but hey, why shold good resources such as the medics be sent out to save these tools? Someone more deserving needs to come first eg: heart attacks patients, stroke victims etc. Let the junkies die.
-Posted by: 123

To bad the whole 26 didnt die.
-Posted by: Rex

Just let them die,they wont do it again will they now.That will save us (community) a lot of money and time.
-Posted by: The real Jack

...And as for the prohibition argument, those events occurred almost 100 years ago, so its completely invalid for todays society. And the same clown also stated that [recreational] drugs are safer and not addicive and cause very few problems for society. Are you serious???? Please tell me that you don't honestly believe that crap you just wrote. Not addicitive? Dont make me laugh. Safe? Laughing still. And very few problems for society? LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!
-Posted by: Charles Darwin of Evolutionville

Runners Up:

I know that we have a problem with these kids that find the only way to have fun is to get high on these drugs. Sorry and I know a lot of you won't agree with what I have to say, but if they want to blow their minds of on these drugs then don't waste out medical officers trying to save them. Just let them go. Theyn know when they take this drug there are risks. If the rinks are not anhered to then what more can you say. DO THE CRIME DO THE TIME. Sorry but have had enough of hearing about drug abuse in this countr. I came up in the 60s and wastn't lured by drugs in those days, so why are we worrying about what is happing today???? If you want to blow your brains out on drugs then go ahead as far as I am concerned. We are wasting too much money and effort dealing with kinds that have had no dissapline in their youth and it is starting to show in their aduthoot. Get a life and start looking forward to a future where you now are in control and not your parents.
-Posted by: Cathy of Gayndah's posts like yours that makes a parents job 'that much harder' say 'if ectasy was regulated, taxed and sold like alcohol, no one would take BGH and overdoses wouldn't happen'...that's just irresponsible and stupid! NO DRUG should be 'regulated, taxed and sold'...(even dope will not get legalised, as who wants a bonged out bogan driving on our roads??)...anything that is chemically made is NOT SAFE!!!. NO DRUG!! But young people reading your ill informed post will only 'justify' that taking ectasy is 'really ok'...well its NOT!! And us as parents have our work cut out even further, to try to explain these stupid comments are NOT ACCEPTABLE!!! But l agree with what you said about alcohol...Alcohol is legal and thousands are affected by it...dometic abuse, addiction, drink driving, violent bashings??? You need to 'balance' your statement, and not be so hypocrital..
-Posted by: Cheryl 

Go for it kiddies - did the guys that sold it too you tell you that a side effect is urinary incontinence? I didn't think so. LOL.
-Posted by: Crackers of Freo

Miranda Devine (SMH)
-The War On Drugs Is Being Won [link]
-Addicts Say Abstinence Sets Them Free [link]

Runners Up:

Jackie Sinnerton [link]
-Cocaine Parties Thrive In Suburbia [link]
-Housewives Turn To Cocaine Abuse In Queensland (with Paula Doneman) [link]

Lauren Zwaans & Ben Harvy
-New Drug Craze Worries Authorities [link]
-Drug Dealers And Users Trade Tips On Internet Site [link]
-Drug Barons Recruit Younger Users [link]
-Drugs, drunks on a night of dirty deals [link]
-When Love Is Found In A Pill [link]
-Experimentation Leads To Permanent Effects [link]

The is no such thing as a safe recreational drug

Runners Up:

• “Send the wrong message”
• “Epidemic”
•  “Scourge”

Drug Free Australia (DFA)
Making multiple votes on a web poll [link]

It appears that there are no boundaries to the deceit from some supporters of Drug Free Australia(DFA). A recent internet poll that questioned whether DFA have a rightful place on professional lists had to be reset after it was discovered that multiple votes had come from the same IP address.

Runners Up:

The Federal Coalition
Harm Minimisation has failed

Pretending to be neutral on the cannabis debate while the director, Dr. Jan Copeland is a well known anti-cannabis crusader

The Police
Drug raids are having significant effect on drug supply and demand

Questioning the success of Needle Exchange Programs
Drug Free Australia (DFA)

(For some reason, the report doesn’t appear on DFA’s website. In fact I can’t find it anywhere except here)

And when it comes to Hepatitis C prevention, where we at Drug Free Australia believe there is some demonstrated benefit, the researchers have failed to recognise that needle exchanges, by giving the appearance of condoning drug use, may have the effect of increasing drug use while alleviating some of its harms.  It is notable that when the ‘safe use of illicit drugs’ movement, of which needle exchanges are one physical manifestation, was handsomely bankrolled internationally in 1991, world drug use skyrocketed, and there is every possibility that this was causal.  So increased drug use would decrease the overall financial benefit to Australians.

Runners Up:

Cannabis is a gateway drug
WA Premier, Colin Barnett 

Overstating the connection between cannabis and testicular cancer
The Daily Telegraph [link]

“Tough on Drugs” reduces drug use
All major political parties except the Greens and the Democrats

Herschel Baker (DFA)
Drug prohibition saves thousands of lives and billions of dollars in economic resources [link]
The only reason that the death rate from illicit drugs is lower than that caused by alcohol abuse is that such drugs are illegal. Our current system of drug prohibition actually saves thousands of lives and billions of dollars in economic resources

Runners Up:

SA Police Minister Michael Wright
Great success from police drug dogs [link]
“The three highly trained canines and their handlers have achieved remarkable results in a short period of time and they should be commended for their commitment to disrupting drug taking and dealing on our streets.”

In just over 12 months and 193 deployments, the total haul is: 1090 Ecstasy tablets, 4 LSD tablets, 1.58 kilograms of cannabis, 17 grams of amphetamine, 6 grams of ketamine, 3 grams of cocaine, 15mls GHB 21 pieces of drug paraphernalia including an ice pipe and cocaine kit.

The article claims that BZP is dangerous and has “significant side effects”  [link]

The article claims that BZP has “significant side effects and can prove deadly in certain circumstances” then listing these “significant side effects” as increased heart rate; dilation of pupils; nausea; flushing; dry mouth; urinary incontinence. They don’t sound too deadly to me. Also, what is “urinary incontinence”? [link]

Theodore Dalrymple (Anthony Daniels)
The Spectator (UK) [link]
Heroin withdrawal as being no worse than a case of the flu and 5-10 years in jail will stop the rise of heroin addiction.

[Withdrawal] is time limited... and not life-threatening, thus can be easily controlled by reassurance, personal attention and general nursing care without any need for pharmacotherapy. [...] I might add also that doctors have a very long history of treating the trivial condition of withdrawal from opiates in a dangerous, indeed fatal fashion.
Addiction should be treated as an aggravating circumstance, and an automatic additional five or ten years ought to be added to addicts’ sentences...

Sophie Mirabella MP
The Liberal Party

Is Sophie the new Bronwyn Bishop? Rude and belligerent, demanding and stubborn, arrogant and obnoxious? These traits probably fit most politicians but Sophie excels at them and is starting to shine as the next female head-kicker for the Libs. But it’s her venomous hate of drug users and harm minimisation that fuels the comparisons with the iron beehive. The push for cruel, inhumane strategies and praise for the so called success of Howard’s “Tough on Drugs” policy, reeks of Bishopism and some deep seated conservative views. If you add to this a complete ignorance of medical facts, a plethora of persistent, scary sound-bites  and the vote winning attraction of being “Tough on Drugs” then you have the perfect anti-drug propagandist.

“At the Annual UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna in March this year, our “tough” Government actually protested that the term “harm reduction” had been pointedly excluded from a political declaration – effectively betraying Labor’s real “soft on drugs” approach and putting us at odds with our traditional ally, the US.”

Runners Up:

Jamie Briggs MP 
The Liberal Party
Varous articles in the media [link]

Susan Ley MP
The Liberal Party
Continuous attacks on ALP’s customs and border protection policies especially in reference to drugs

Lawrence Springborg  MP
The Liberal Party
Outrageous comments about drug policies and laws

Pope Benedict XVI
CEO of the Catholic Church (Head Office)
In an obvious last minute attempt at influencing the upcoming United Nations meeting in March to determine international drug policy, the Vatican issued a public statement that using drugs is "anti-life" and "so-called harm reduction leads to liberalisation of the use of drugs". The Vatican objects to harm reduction strategies like needle exchange programs, safe injecting sites and methadone. Although these strategies save lives and have been very successful, the Vatican selfishly put their ideology first. It shows once again these fundamentalists care more about pushing their stale dogma on society than actually helping people.  [link]

Runners Up:

Antonio Maria Costa 
Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Antonio Maria Costa is an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, appointed in May 2002 to the positions of Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV). [wikipedia]

Robert Dupont
Bensinger, DuPont & Associates (BDA)

DuPont was the first director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and was White House Drug Chief from 1973 to 1978. He is co-founder of Bensinger, DuPont & Associates (BDA) — a company that specializes in workplace drug testing. See this post about his claims that marijuana legalization would be like legalizing speeding and drunk driving.

Calvina Fay
Drug Free America Foundation(DFAF)

Calvina Fay is the Executive Director for Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. and Save Our Society From Drugs (SOS). She has been an outspoken advocate against the legalization of drugs for over 20 years. Professor Fay has served as an advisor to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy as well as several political leaders, including President Bush, on drug policy issues. She is the author of several books, most noteworthy being, The Supervisor's Handbook For Preventing Drug Abuse in The Workplace and Starting a Drug Free Business Initiative. As seen by the titles of her books, one of Calvina Fay's major focus is on drug abuse in the workplace.

Dr. George O’Neal & Dr. Stuart Reece
Medical Entrepreneurs

While people are dying from their Naltrexone implants, they continue to play on desperate addicts looking a miracle cure. The implants are not registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) so they use a loophole under the special Access Scheme, by claiming that heroin dependent patients are critically ill and at risk of death. Reece is also a hardline, fundamentalist Christian and anti-harm minimisation nutter who is infamous for citing biblical quotes at a government enquiry. 

Runners Up:

Craig Thompson
National President of Drug Free Australia (DFA)

A previous role as a magistrate in the Local Courts of NSW opens many doors for Craig Thompson to push his Zero Tolerance agenda. His out spoken views on cannabis and on the drug taking riff-raff he dealt with as a magistrate gets him plenty of invitations to speak his mind. And that’s exactly what he does ... gives his personal opinions without much evidence to back it up.

Roslyn Phillips
FamilyVoice Australia

Formely known as the Festival of Light, FamilyVoice Australia continue their damnation of harm minimisation with several submissions to government enquiries. Roslyn Phillips is the main voice from this group who once claimed Rev. Fred Nile as one of their own.

Jo Baxter
Drug Free Australia (DFA), Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD), WFAD

While being a member of DFA and WFAD mightn’t have any credibility, her position in the ANCD does. Although, I doubt if anyone at the ANCD actually pays her any attention, Aunty Jo is still able to make her silly suggestions as a member of this group. As the ANCD sheds it’s link to Brian Watters, Craig Thompson, Ann Bressington, John Howard and other relics of the past, it is becoming much more credible with harm minimisation heavy weight Gino Vumbaca and other qualified personnel. This gives Aunty Jo the apparent backing of a reputable group (one that isn’t sniggered at like DFA and WFAD) and her push for dangerous Zero Tolerance strategies might be taken seriously.

Sniffer dogs at Cheech and Chong show in Sydney

The NSW police have been experiencing a PR nightmare recently but their latest escapade tops them all. In a woeful display of wasted resources, a Cheech and Chong show at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney’s Newtown was delayed as a team of 25 officers and 4 drug dogs screened the audience as they entered the foyer. The police were later seen at nearby pubs and the local railway station in search of more dangerous, middle aged pot smokers. In all, 6 people were found with small quantities of cannabis and were released without charge and instead were given a caution notice. [link]

Runners Up:

Just Say No
A “Just Say No” rehash from the No Way Campaign supported by the National Rugby League(NRL) [link]

A host of rugby league personalities, including Rabbitohs coach Jason Taylor, will help deliver to schools and young people the uncompromising new message - "Just say no". The campaign, to be launched at a Sydney public high school today, is a direct challenge to harm-minimisation advocates who admit young people take drugs and seek to limit the damage. - The Daily Telegraph

Sniffer Dogs
Sniffer dogs at music festivals like The Big Day Out

Costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and wasting much needed resources, the police continue their focus on casual users of relatively safe, recreational drugs. And like a bucket with holes in it, most of what they are trying to stop, gets through. They only capture a tiny percentage of the total drugs at these venues but it’s obvious it’s not their real intention. Like most of these strategies, it’s about appearing “Tough on Drugs” which will hopefully equate into more votes at an election.

School Drug Testing & DFA Recomendations
Push for school drug testing and other recommendations from a DFA report [link]

Independent MP, Peter Wellington wanted to implement drug testing at schools and other recommendations from the discredited DFA report: Cannabis: suicide, schizophrenia and other ill-effects.

The push by Peter Wellington MP (ind.) is surprising since he seems to be quite intelligent. He is a firm believer in offering unlimited medication to dying people in pain and has criticised NSW for having draconian, opposing laws.

But he has clearly missed the mark here and been blinded by the junk science produced by DFA. He said the report showed “irrefutable” evidence there was a connection for many people between cannabis/marijuana use and mental illness. The key deception was the use of “many” people which should say “hardly any” people. Only those with a pre-existing family history of mental health problems are at risk or those who heavily abuse the drug.

“What concerns me is that so many people in our community seem to have the view that marijuana use is not a problem. They view it as a recreational drug which is not a problem and that everyone does it.
The report has frightening revelations, and mental illness is a tsunami about to erupt”
-Peter Wellington MP (ind.) Member for Nicklin.

Like most DFA recommendations, they were eventually ignored and faded into obscurity.

The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna

Runners Up:

• The death of Gemma Thoms who swallowed all of her ecstasy pills to avoid detection from drug sniffer dogs at the Big Day Out [link]
• The sacking of Professor David Nutt by The UK Home Secretary [link]
• Queen Silvia of Sweden, accepting Patronage of The World Forum Against Drugs and her failure to address the appalling human rights abuse in her own nation

The ultimate anti-drug zealot who made a huge impact on the downfall of rational thinking and sensibility in 2009. Unlike the category for Most Dangerous Anti-Drug Campaigner, The Bucket Head of the Year can be literally a “Bucket Head” Think of Rove, Bronwyn Bishop, Daryl Somers etc. They might be dangerous or just plain stupid but they must be worthy of scorn and criticism.

Colin Barnett
WA Premier (LP)

Trying to top last year’s winner, Anne Bressington, is not easy but WA premier, Colin Barnett has made a gallant attempt. Introducing new laws infamous for failing globally, to replace existing laws that have been succeeding could be interpreted as brave and insightful. Unfortunately for Colin “Barney Rubble” Barnett, it wasn’t. It was seen for what it really was ... an out-of-touch old man clinging desperately to his stagnant ideology and putting faith into strategies that have failed miserably for the last 40-60 years which are rapidly on their way out. Only a brave man indeed would remove a modern, successful drug policy because of myths like “The Gateway Theory” and other junk science. Someone should point out to Barney that the internet(yes Barney, that TV looking thing on your desk) means politicians can no longer just say what they want and the public have to take it as gospel. 

Barney is also introducing “Stop and Search” laws, claiming it will cut down on street violence and anti-social behaviour by seeking out those carrying knives or drugs. In certain designated areas, police can stop and search any person without provision of reasonable suspicion. What the hell drugs have to with weapons is yet to quantified.

Barney is a dying breed which probably sums up the current Liberal Party and some of the Labor Party. It's not that his drug policies are just useless and counter-productive but they are also dangerous. To underplay the deaths and misery caused by these policies for political gain or for personal ideology is disgraceful and should be seen as a criminal act. A “Tough on Drugs” mentality has caused massive damage in every country that adopts this approach and after 100 years of drug prohibition globally, some common sense is finally emerging. Sadly, this doesn’t include Colin Barnett.

On a lighter side ... man, is he funny or what? That bloodhound face looking like it was made from plastic. The monotone political rhetoric putting TV viewers to sleep. Walking around Northbridge at night to prove it is family friendly only to be confronted with some druggie asleep in a doorway. But it was an accidental camera pan of several heavyweight body guards that blew his cover as the brave leader walking the streets alone. And of course, the references to old, debunked urban myths about drugs that had much of WA’s youth rolling around the floor in hysterics and experts scratching their heads in bewilderment. Good stuff, Barney.

I proudly present to you, this years BucketHead of the Year for 2009 ... WA Premier, Colin Barnett.

Runners Up:

Jo Baxter
Drug Free Australia (DFA)
Ah, Aunty Jo Baxter. Keeping DFA in the spotlight as the other board members settle into their retirement homes or wait for surgery. Rumour has it that Jo was once a host for a children’s TV show and her homely looks and manner sparked the nickname, Aunty Jo. But don’t be fooled ... under that soft exterior is a dedicated DFA warrior. She is able to whip up links to decades old research and toss around junk science sound bites with the best of them.

Ryan Hidden
Reformed Drug Addicts League of SA
That nattering mouthpiece for Anne Bressington remains constant with his campaign against harm minimisation and cannabis. Like an itch on your bum, he’s there annoying the shit out of you for no other reason, except that he can.

Gary Christian
Drug Free Australia (DFA)
Gary is DFA’s technical advisor for propaganda and is responsible for regular attacks on harm minimisation. He is well known on the ANCD email forums for trying to discredit any research that opposes the DFA dogma. Not surprisingly, no one else usually agrees with him.