New Research Says Marijuana Is 114 Times Safer Than Drinking Alcohol

If you were to ask law enforcement or the U.S. government, they’d tell you that marijuana is unsafe, addictive, and has no medical uses.

Of course, any thinking person knows that’s a crock of you-know-what. And now, a new study has found that the controversial plant is 114 times less likely to harm you than alcohol. In fact, they found that booze was the deadliest drug of them all, with cocaine and heroin coming in second.

Related: Here’s What Marijuana Does To Broken Bones

“The results confirm that the risk of cannabis may have been overestimated in the past,” the study’s authors wrote.

“At least for the endpoint of mortality, the [margin of exposure] for THC/cannabis in both individual and population-based assessments would be above safety thresholds (e.g. 100 for data based on animal experiments).

In contrast, the risk of alcohol may have been commonly underestimated.”

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‘We don’t yet know the full scale of what happened’

Pete's Kiwi Korner

The Wireless


Thousands of New Zealanders want an inquiry into historic abuse of children in state care:

Kohitere Boy's Training Centre in Levin was one of the main welfare institutions that has been the subject of complaints.
Kohitere Boy’s Training Centre in Levin was one of the main welfare institutions that has been the subject of complaints.

Photo: Aaron Smale/RNZ

When Eugene Ryder was barely a teenager, a grown man broke a rake over his back.

This was one of the many assaults – “corporal punishment, as it was known in those days” – the young man endured as a ward of the state in the early 1980s. His assailant was a staff member at a children’s residential facility, entrusted with the care of the thousands of boys who passed through its doors.

The rake, Eugene says, wasn’t the worst of it.

“When it broke, he kept the handle. He would use that as a tool for abuse – physically and sexually.

“It would scare the shit out of us. I’d…

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The Crossroads of Should and Must

This is a story about two roads — Should and Must. It’s a pep talk for anyone who’s chosen Should for far too long — months, years, maybe a lifetime — and feels like it’s about time they gave Must a shot

There are two paths in life: Should and Must. We arrive at this crossroads over and over again. And each time, we get to choose.

Over the past year I’ve chosen Must again and again. And it was petrifying. And at times it was dark. But I would never, ever, trade this past year for anything. This essay is my three biggest takeaways from the experience. It’s for anyone who is thinking of making the jump from Should to Must. Anyone looking to follow the energy deep within their chest but aren’t quite sure how.

Should is how others want us to show up in the world — how we’re supposed to think, what we ought to say, what we should or shouldn’t do. It’s the vast array of expectations that others layer upon us. When we choose Should the journey is smooth, the risk is small.

Must is different—there aren’t options and we don’t have a choice.

Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self. It’s our instincts, our cravings and longings, the things and places and ideas we burn for, the intuition that swells up from somewhere deep inside of us. Must is what happens when we stop conforming to other people’s ideals and start connecting to our own. Because when we choose Must, we are no longer looking for inspiration out there. Instead, we are listening to our calling from within, from some luminous, mysterious place.

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Patriotic songs and self-criticism: why China is ‘re-educating’ Muslims in mass detention camps

They don’t love Muslims in China:

Uyghurs protesting against Chinese re-education camps in front of Parliament House in Adelaide this year. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies their existence. But extensive reporting by international media and human rights groups indicates that upwards of hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs – a Muslim-minority ethnic group – have been detained in sprawling “re-education” centres in the far-western Xinjiang region of China.

The camps are not only massive, with some exceeding 10,000sqm, but have also been likened to prison-like compounds, with “reinforced security doors and windows, surveillance systems, secure access systems, watchtowers, and guard rooms or facilities for armed police”. The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China calls it “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today”.

China has long been wary of its Uyghur population, particularly in the wake of deadly riotsterrorist attacks and the flow of Uyghur militants to Syria and Iraq to fight with the Islamic State in recent years.

But the emergence of the re-education camps in Xinjiang raises a number of new questions: Why has the Communist Party come to rely on mass internment to control the Uyghurs? What are the implications for China’s future political development under President Xi Jinping? And how should the international community respond?

From social controls to ‘re-education’

Xinjiang’s position at the crossroads of East and West, as well as the cultural, religious and ethnic differences between the majority Han and minority Uyghurs, have posed significant challenges to the Communist Party for decades.

To bring more stability to the restive region, Beijing has pursued an aggressive integration strategy defined by tight political, social and cultural controls, the encouragement of mass migration by the dominant Han Chinese population, and state-led economic development.

In turn, the Uyghurs have increasingly chafed against these restrictive policies, resulting in periodic outbursts of violence.

Read more: What China’s censors don’t want you to read about the Uyghurs

In recent years, Beijing has leveraged the global war on terror and the existence of a small number of Uyghur militants abroad to crack down on Uyghur ethnic identity even further.

From the party’s perspective, the recent outbreaks of Uyghur violence are not a reaction to restrictive policies, but the result of the “three evil forces” of “separatism, terrorism and extremism”, which have “hoodwinked” ethnic minorities into “erroneous” thinking.

In Xinjiang, this has enabled the development of a high-tech and data-heavy surveillance apparatus to reassert the party’s control over the region, along with efforts to weed out so-called extremists by identifying supposedly “abnormal” activities such as the wearing of long beards, hijabs, niqabs and burkas.

Now, re-education camps have emerged as a repugnant but depressingly logical extension of this process. The government calls them “transformation through education” centres, which harks back to the institutions of “thought reform” established under Mao Zedong in the 1950s.

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Please consider – The Magnitsky Act:

What started as a drama about a Russian police plot to steal a billion dollars from a US financier and to murder his faithful tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, has become a real life investigation of contradicting versions of the crime. The Magnitsky Case is central for the policy of blacklisting bad guys from Putin’s Russia (“Magnitsky List”), which was then adopted by the West in retaliation for Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Shockingly for the film’s director, dissident and Putin basher Andrei Nekrasov, the official Western story turns out to have serious flaws.

‘Exciting time to be an actor in NZ’: Call goes out for Māori Bond villain

A leaked casting call for the newest Bond film – Bond 25 – is calling for a male Māori actor.

Daniel Craig appears in Casino Royale.

The call sheet was obtained by fan-site MI6 and calls for a Māori actor between 35 and 55 with advanced stage combat skills who is to play a supporting role as an authoritative, cunning, ruthless and loyal role as a henchman.

The new role follows in the footsteps of Māori actor Lawrence Makoare, who played Mr Kil, a henchmen who went up against Bond in 2002 film Die Another Day, directed by Lee Tamahori.

Toi Whakaari National Drama school director Christian Penny said this was a great opportunity for young talented Māori actors to get their foot in the door.

“There’s so many good Māori actors in New Zealand who’d wipe the floor with this kind of thing and totally make a mark for themselves in that world and internationally,” Mr Penny said.

“I can think of a whole handful of people Temuera Morrison, Chris Curtis, Maaka Pohatu, you know there’s heaps of guys.”

With his experience at the school for nearly two decades, he said he had consistently seen the flow of “high-quality young capable Māori actors in the field who’d compete” for this role.

“Here at Toi we’ve had like lots and lots of young talented Māori who come from a physical basis, that’s where they’ve grown up. They’ve either played sport, they’ve been in kapa haka worlds and they come to Toi, they learn to act and then this is the kind of thing they absolutely want to do.

The fact that Hollywood was looking for variety in actors set a much-anticipated precedent, he said.

“We could feel this coming over a decade ago, Hollywood getting interested in the freshness of our people, and now that’s a marker of that.”

The rise of Kiwi actors on the world stage of films showcased the skills of young talent from New Zealand shores, Mr Penny said.

“The people we’re putting out of New Zealand, the kind of actors we’re putting out and now increasingly into these international big budget settings are so interesting, are so fresh, are so authentic that you know the tide is turning our way. It’s an exciting time to be an actor in New Zealand.”

The casting call also sought a Russian man to play a leading role as the cold and vindictive villain.

Danny Boyle will be directing the film and shooting begins in December this year.

The Truth About Anxiety That No One’s Told You

The Green World of Health and Wellbeing.

In an age of constant comparison, where we’re witness to our friend’s accomplishments, our anxiety is reaching new extremes.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

“Why do you stay so close to the shore? I’ve never seen you swim far.”

The image of the Freddy Kruger fish flashes in my mind. A giant blue whale follows that. My wife’s question is one I know she’ll laugh at when I tell her.

“I can’t handle not knowing what’s under my feet. Most of the things that live in deep ocean freak me out.”

She laughs, but then realizes I’m serious. “The man who survives two wars and advocates jumping out of airplanes finally admits he’s afraid of something!”

I’m surprised it’s taken her this long to notice. Each time we visit the ocean, I look like an overgrown adult in a kiddie pool who splashes about in waves no higher than his…

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