The lesson from Pakistan is that prohibition does not work (and even your pilot might be pissed)

June 3, 2014

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Alf never imagined he would be agreeing with a Sallie on the matter of booze.

But today he does just that – up to a point.

The Sallie in question has just come back to this country after heading the Salvation Army in Pakistan, a country which takes a very dim view of booze and boozing.

His experience there tells him prohibition never works – an opinion that won’t be challenged by the member for Eketahuna North.

He goes on to contend that restrictions can reduce the harm from drugs and alcohol. On this score, Alf reckons it rather depends on the nature of the restrictions.

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The dreaded tobacco is banned by Lower Hutt DHB – but hey, if you want to light up, try cannabis

December 30, 2013

It sounds like things have gone to pot at Hutt Hospital.

The Hutt Valley District Health Board is trying to tell us there is little it can do to reduce cannabis getting into its mental health unit.

According to a Radio NZ report, a former patient has blown the whistle, saying cannabis is regularly used by patients – and it’s often smoked only metres from a nursing station.

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It sounds like a potty idea, but not if it has Brash and Banks quarrelling with each other

September 26, 2011

Wouldn’t it be great to sit in on the next meeting of the fast-collapsing ACT party.

Actually, it’s looking rather like a National Party B team now that Boscowen has bowed out and we have Don Brash (former National leader) and John Banks (former National police minister) in the first two slots on the list.

They might be the only ones to turn up at ACT caucus meetings, in the next parliament, although this prospect assumes (a) Banks wins Epsom and (b) ACT can muster enough support to get at least one more member into the House.

And who would bet on that happening, eh?

The party is polling well below the 5 per cent threshold to be guaranteed seats in Parliament.

Alf hears it has registered just 1.1 per cent support in the last Fairfax Media Research International Poll.

We can rule out Brash winning North Shore – unlike Alf, he is unattractive to the bloke in the street and his missus.

Don’t forget he was beaten by a bloody Social Crediter, of all things, when he stood for by-election in the East Coast Bays electorate way back, and he again failed to win the seat at the general election of 1981.

So that leaves his immediate Parliamentary future in the hands of John Banks, who hardly sees eye to eye with him in his basic philosophy as has become all too obvious on the cannabis issue.

Probably Banks disagrees very strongly with Brash.

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Hughes’ news about the work test is worth celebrating – but it is subject to an appeal

January 5, 2011

And I'm pleased to say you won't have to work for another 26 years or so...

Taxpayers will be tempted to celebrate on learning they no longer have to fill the trough from which a former gang leader and his family have been slurping for 26 years.

But don’t pop the champagne tops just yet. Darryl Harris – the bloke in question – has three months to appeal against the decision.

Harris, who lives in Christchurch, apparently has been told his benefit will stop from January 10 because “he no longer meets standard eligibility requirements”.

The information comes from Social Development Ministry chief executive Peter Hughes and is published at Stuff today.

The decision comes at a time when – nudged along by the likes of Alf behind the scenes – the Government is taking a harder line on benefit claims, including work-testing for sickness benefits from this May.

Stuff reminds us that this Harris feller and his wife, Marcia Robins, made headlines a year ago when it was revealed they had been claiming unemployment and sickness benefits continually since 1984.

They had received $30,000 in special-needs grants since 2000, including payments for new tyres for their 2007 Chrysler saloon and to fence a swimming pool at one of their Christchurch properties.

Bugger that.

Many of Alf’s mates can’t afford a 2007 Chrysler or properties with swimming pools.

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Pot smoking case raises worrying questions about the regularity of drivers of dangerous goods trucks

December 2, 2010

Bugger the prunes...a fews snorts of this lot should get things moving.

No shit, Sherlock?

Dunno about that.

Alf gets the strong whiff of something fabricated in a hurry when he reads that a truck driver caught smoking cannabis behind the wheel of a 40-tonne dangerous goods truck says he took the drug to ease constipation.

According to a report at Stuff, this bloke was picked up by police in Blenheim after other motorists allegedly saw him using a bong while driving the rig down State Highway 1 in October.

Alf must confess he had not come across a bong before, and had to get Mrs Grumble to look it up. She tells him that among things, a bong is a water pipe for smoking marijuana, which explains why Alf is utterly unfamiliar with the word.

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Our labour laws have gone to pot – or why we must do things by the book when sacking a drug supplier

January 7, 2010

Come in Kate Wilkinson. There’s work to be done in your labour portfolio.

Urgently.

The Employment Relations Authority needs dismantling, our employment law needs rewriting and common sense needs restoring to a boss’s right to fire staff.

But don’t sack the buggers at the authority before we have put new arrangements in place. Otherwise they are apt to take legal action under a system with which they have become all too familiar, and will try to screw the taxpayer for big bucks.

Alf tenders this advice on learning that a small business has been ordered to pay an employee $12,000 – including $6000 compensation for distress – after he was sacked for supplying cannabis to a workmate.

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The curious tale of a pot-growing wierdo’s culinary capers with an unpalatable seal

December 12, 2009

So how can the law protect it now?

If Platon Malakhov invites you to dinner, make bloody sure you check out what he will be serving before you accept.

Malakhov, who lives in Karamea, stole and tried to eat a seal carcass because he had an unusual diet and often ate road kill, the Westport District Court has been told.

The NZ Herald tells us today the 32-year-old Malakhov, formerly of Russia, pleaded guilty to possessing a sealskin, and cultivation of cannabis when he appeared in court.

His lawyer Doug Taffs said Malakhov, self-employed, had been walking along a Karamea beach, north of Westport, on November 4, when he came across a dying seal. He returned several hours later to find it dead and decided to take it home with him.

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