Survey into Medicinal Cannabis use

A survey of users of medicinal cannabis has been launched. This should get useful information, but as a lot of medical cannabis use is likely to be illegal it may be difficult to get a comprehensive picture.


MCANZ launches its first study of Medical Cannabis users in NZ.

An unprecedented research project to discover how and why New Zealanders are using cannabis medicinally has been launched today by Medical Cannabis Awareness New Zealand.

The study, New Zealand Medicinal Cannabis Use Research Survey 2019, is an online survey of patients using cannabis for medical reasons based on Australia’s Cannabis As Medicine Survey and has been designed in conjunction with University of Otago researcher Dr Geoff Noller. It has been granted ethics approval and is MCANZ’s first research project.

“During the Select Committee process last year, it became apparent that no one had any data on the trends in illicit medical use, such as the rate of criminalization or even a decent snapshot of what conditions were most common for illicit medical use,” says MCANZ Coordinator Shane Le Brun.

“The only research relevant was a Ministry of Health study on cannabis use dating from 2012-2013, and frankly, medical use was only an afterthought in that research,” says MCANZ Le Brun.

“This research is a first for MCANZ and we’re delighted to be working with  Dr Noller. This first survey will give us a snapshot of current medical use in New Zealand and establish trends and areas that will need focus in the setting up of New Zealand’s new medicinal cannabis regime.” says Le Brun

“The intent is for this study to be conducted every 2 years, so the first study will serve as a baseline for the future, particularly to measure the impact of the Medical Cannabis Scheme,” says Lead investigator  Dr. Geoff Noller.

“The study covers topics ranging from perceived medical efficacy, knowledge of harm reduction such as vaping, and the impact of criminality on medical use,” says Noller.


If you use medicinal cannabis you can do the survey here:

New Zealand Medicinal Cannabis Use Research Survey 2019

NZ plummets in energy investment ranking, Government happy

New Zealand has dropped from 14th to 46th in a ranking of attractiveness to energy investors. This isn’t surprising after the Government put significant limitations on oil and gas exploration.

‘Green’ or alternative energy prospects don’t seem to rate – I’m still unclear how we will meet al our energy needs if we transition away from fossil fuels completely as some want.

NZH:  Survey of top energy executives shows NZ has become a lot less attractive for investors

An annual survey of the world’s leading oil executives, which ranks the ease of investment into oil and gas producing countries, shows New Zealand has dramatically dropped down the list in terms of its attractiveness to investors.

The Fraser Institute, which has run the survey every year for 12 years, asks executives to rank provinces, states and countries according to the extent to which barriers to investment in oil and gas exploration and production are present.

New Zealand’s attractiveness to investors has dropped from the 14th highest country/region to 46 in the space of a year.

“This drop is based on poorer scores with respect to political stability, environmental regulations and protected areas and taxation in general,” the report said.

The Opposition is critical.

National’s Energy spokesman Jonathan Young put the blame for the drop squarely in the lap of the Government.

In April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern banned future offshore oil and gas exploration in New Zealand with the exception of Taranaki.

The ban took the industry by surprise because it was not part of any confidence and supply or coalition agreement and had not been explicitly promised by Labour during the election campaign.

According to some industry players surveyed in the Fraser Institute report, this was a key reason for the drop in New Zealand’s attractiveness.

“New Zealand’s move to ban new offshore exploration is a deterrent for investors,” one said.

“Jurisdictions that are openly hostile towards resource development, like New Zealand, cause investors to take their investment dollars elsewhere,” said another.

Young was not surprised by this and said the ban had “scared off” potential investors and would cost the economy tens of millions of dollars.

It’s not surprising – it looks like to an extent at least it was the intent of the ban, or it must have been at least a predictable consequence.

Energy Minister Megan Woods is unrepentant:

“We’re incredibly proud of the fact that New Zealand is leading the world on a managed, long term transition to a clean energy future.”

Hardly. The Government has limited fossil fuel exploration possibilities, but I have seen little of the other side of the equation – alternatives.

“International investors will consider a range of information when making decisions about where to invest, including the likelihood of a discovery and the likely value of any potential discovery.”

Climate Change Minister James Shaw was not surprised by the survey.

He said because oil and gas exploration was being phased out in New Zealand, there was not actually much more investment in the sector that was needed.

“So it’s unsurprising that investors in that industry would be saying that over the long term it’s not a place they wanted to end up.”

Shaw needs to come up with a credible path to sufficient alternative energy to replace fossil fuels, otherwise we will either have an energy shortfall, or will have to rely more on more expensive imports of fuel.

I’d love to see polluting fuels phased out, but I would also love to see a realistic and viable plan for what will replace them. At the moment I see little more than pie in the sky idealism.

Energy of dreams – ban them, and alternatives will come. Maybe.

 

What are Kiwi values?

When NZ First said they were considering a bill requiring immigrants to comply with undefined ‘Kiwi values’ it raised the obvious question – what are Kiwi values?  We are a diverse bunch.

AMP/Stuff are doing a survey to try to find out what values matter to us.

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE KIWI: New Zealanders loved Kiwiana and it helped define us on the world stage. Tell us what you think are the values, old and new, that define 21st Century New Zealand, in the AMP/Stuff Survey of Values.

I encourage everyone to contribute to this survey.

It would also be good to discuss some of this here.

Which values do you MOST STRONGLY associate with Kiwis / New Zealanders today?

PRAGMATISM – Down to earth and practical, we get things done

PUNCHING ABOVE – We love an underdog, we back the little guy

WORK LIFE BALANCE – Enjoying the 40-hour work week and good quality family time

SPORTING EXCELLENCE – passionate players, coaches, supporters and fans

TEAM SPIRIT – Working together to solve problems / win

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY – Equality for everyone in health, education, housing, social status etc

CELEBRATE DIVERSITY – Of other cultures, life choices, religions

OUTWARD LOOKING – Embracing the world beyond our shores

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT – Courageous, give things a go, we have a sense of adventure

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT – Looking after and enjoying our natural environment

MODESTY – Not blowing our own trumpet

SAFETY & SECURITY – Safe from crime, corruption, nuclear war

COMMUNITY SPIRIT – Looking after one another and helping one another

KINDNESS – Being kind to one another, supporting and forgiving

INCLUSIVENESS – Accepting and respecting one another

INDIVIDUAL CHOICE – Challenging, making our voice heard

INNOVATION – Number 8 wire mentality, thinking differently and creatively

NONE OF THESE

Any others?

What about sense of humour?

We are really good promoting how modest we are and how we don’t blow our own trumpets.


Update: I am just doing the survey and I am very disappointed in this:

Which ETHNICITY do you most associate with?
NZ European
Maori
Pacific Islander
Chinese
Indian
Other Asian
Other European
Other Ethnicity

In a survey in Kiwi values the ethnicity that I value is not an option! I had to put ‘other ethnicity’ as the least inappropriate.

Law harassment survey

Most criminal lawyers have experienced or seen bullying or harassment in the profession, and the majority of offenders are judges.

RNZ:  Judges worst offenders in law harassment survey

Criminal Bar Association vice-president Elizabeth Hall, who instigated the survey, said the “staggering” results were “obviously of deep concern to both the association and the Law Society”.

Types of abuse include shouting, insults and threats, and nearly one in three had experienced unwelcome sexual attention.

In nearly 65 percent of cases, the person doing the harassing or bullying was a judge.

Fewer than 17 percent of respondents made an official complaint – mainly because they believed it would not make any difference and they were afraid of the repercussions.

Of those who did complain, just 6 percent felt this fixed the problem.

  • Of the 283 respondents (181 women, 102 men), about 60 percent had been in practice more than nine years
  • 88.1 percent had personally experienced or witnessed bullying or harassment in the last four years
  • Most commonly type of bullying:
    – mockery 69.2%
    -invalid criticism 60%
    – shouting 58%
    – bullying based on age/ experience 57%
    – personal insults 45%
    – unwelcome sexual attention 28.5%
    – threats 27.3%
  • Effect of the bullying/harassment: stress, loss of confidence, anxiety, fear, moved jobs

The law profession was not alone in having with problems with harassment or abuse, Ms Hall said.

“But what is unique to the sphere of criminal practice is this very entrenched hierarchical structure governed by people who have come up through this system in which you go down to court and have strips torn off you by the judge or opposing council, you patch yourself up and do it again the next day.

“That was the practice 20 or 30 years ago – but times have changed, people have moved on and that sort of thing is no longer acceptable.”

Another questionable poll

There are many very questionable polls run online. There is no way of knowing how inaccurate or slanted or rigged they are.

Here is some strong and generally justified criticism of some polling two election campaigns ago.

Colin Craig and his dodgy polling, Ctd

Colin Craig is at it again, using dodgy polling to justify his own agenda.

…That all sounds interesting until, yet again, it turns out that it is not a representative sample and there is a margin of error of 6.9%.

Colin’s strategy is flawed.

Here is another flawed polling strategy.

POLL: Will National get your 2017 Party Vote?

Whaleoil is running a  regular poll to see where those who supported National during the 2014 election are likely to go this year.   We aim to detect any shifts throughout the year leading up to September.

If you did not vote for National in 2014, and you do intend to do so for 2017, then this poll isn’t for you.  We are looking to measure the “restlessness” among 2014 National supporters.

But it is a self selecting poll there is no control over who responds to the poll, so no way of knowing who respondents voted for in 2014.

Normally running political polls on partisan blogs is pointless.

Not just normally.

Asking our audience who they will vote for and assuming that is a fair representation of the nation would be beyond stupid.

But in this case Whaleoil is somewhat representative of the most committed and interested in politics that normally would support the centre right of politics.

There’s no way of knowing that with any accuracy.

As such, measuring a shift in our audience will be significant as an indicator of what National supporters are considering at large.

A rough indicator at best. The poll:

WOPoll

A decent number of responses. The poll results:

WOPollResult

Oddly the number of responses has dropped by a about 20%. Results from all polls this year:

Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug A Aug B Sep
Other 5 5 4 5 5 4 3 3 3
WILL vote National again 53 55 48 52 57 55 68 76 78
MIGHT vote National again 23 21 20 17 15 16 13 8 7
WON’T vote National again 19 19 28 26 23 25 16 13 12

This was from a 1900+ voter sample*.  The voters are Whaleoil readers.

It isn’t a sample. “A sample survey is a process for collecting data on a sample of observations which are selected from the population of interest using a probability-based sampledesign. In sample surveys, certain methods are often used to improve the precision and control the costs of survey data collection.”

It is self selecting  survey with no way of knowing anything about the quality of those who responded.

Based on this non-scientific but strongly indicative Whaleoil poll, National will get 39-41% of the party vote in September, depending on the proportion of wasted votes being distributed from parties such as TOP and the Conservatives which will not make it to parliament.

It isn’t strongly indicative, it is roughly indicative at best. There is no indication what the assertion “National will get 39-41% of the party vote in September” is based on.

Even if the survey could have limited respondents to people who voted for National in 2014 this only tries to measure the number of people who intend to vote National again, or who intend to not vote National.

It has deliberately tried to exclude anyone who voted Conservatives, ACT, UF, NZ First, Labour, Greens or the Internet Party last election and who may now be considering switching to National.

It tries to exclude people who could have voted last election but didn’t. It tries to exclude first time voters.

It may (or may not) be a coincidence that for months Cameron Slater has been claiming that National support will drop and they are likely to go as low as the thirties, and that is what this suspect poll analysis somehow arrives at.

The survey and the analysis/assertions should be taken with a big bucket of salt. It could be as shonky as Craig’s self promoting polls last campaign.

Vote for Policies survey

Vote for Policies was adapted for New Zealand by volunteers to help inform voters and encourage participation in the election. It is based on a UK election tool.

Vote for policies, not personalities

Can’t decide who to vote for?
Not sure what you’re voting for?
Find out whose policies you prefer for the 2017 general election.
It’s quick, fun, and sometimes surprising! 

Vote for Policies helps you make an informed, unbiased decision about who to vote for. Compare policies on a range of key issues (such as Education, Economy or the Environment) without knowing which party they belong to. It’s the best way to get a clear, informed and unbiased view of what each party is promising to do. But be ready – the results can be surprising!

In 2017 a group of volunteers brought Vote for Policies to New Zealand! We are not linked with any political party or commercial entity. Our aim is to increase participation in elections by helping people compare the policies of the political parties. We read all the policies for you, summarise the most important points and present them side by side so you can make an informed decision.

How did you choose which parties to include?

The MMP system is designed to give smaller parties a chance for representation. In the same spirit, we decided to include all parties represented in Parliament and all those parties outside Parliament that have at least as much support as the smallest party in Parliament. We excluded parties that do not have policies for at least 3 of the 5 main areas that we cover. In 2017 the following parties are included:

  • National Party
  • Labour Party
  • NZ First Party
  • Green Party
  • ACT
  • Maori Party
  • United Future
  • Mana
  • The Opportunities Party
  • Conservative Party

How did you choose which issues to include?We aim to cover the main policy areas that all parties have policies for, and we update them with each new election to make sure they are relevant. To keep the survey short, we grouped the issues into 5 main areas:

  • Economy: jobs, housing, tourism, infrastructure, crown debt
  • Education
  • Environment: water, climate change, energy
  • Foreign Affairs: immigration, trade, defence
  • Welfare and Social Issues: tax, benefits, healthcare, inequality/poverty, Maori affairs

You can select which of the 5 topics are important for you and only do the survey about those.

Where do you get the policies from?

The policies come from the documents published on the websites of each political party. We take up to eight policies based on the priority in which they appear in the policy documents. We also try to include policies on core issues from every party (e.g. superannuation age, house building, net migration) to make it easier to compare across parties. Before releasing them on the site we send them to each political party for any comments.

How is Vote for Policies different to other voter advice services?

There are other ‘Voter Advice Applications’ (VAAs) available, we recommend you try them all. There is a list of links below. What’s different about Vote for Policies is that it allows you to focus on the merits of the policies of each party. You can compare actual policies without knowing which party they belong to, so you can put aside your preconceptions.

These are some of the other VAA applications in 2017:

It would be good to get some feedback the Vote for Policies survey.

CEOs rate Trump an “F”

From the annual Yale CEO Summit survey on Donald Trump’s performance”

  • 50% of the CEOs, business execs, government officials and academics surveyed give Trump an “F” for his first 130 days in office
  • 21% rated Trump a ‘D’
  • 1% rated Trump an ‘A’

The Yale findings are the latest evidence that some pockets of the business community are growing disenchanted with Trump as his administration struggles to implement its economic agenda amid scandal and missteps.

Trump is way out of step with many in business on climate change.

Earlier this month, Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord sparked an unprecedented revolt by CEOs. Business leaders led by Tesla founder Elon Musk, Disney CEO Bob Iger and JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon publicly bashed the decision.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein even sent his first-ever tweet to slam the move as a “setback” for U.S. leadership in the world.

CEOs surveyed by Yale agree with that sentiment. Two-thirds of respondents indicated that Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord diminished America’s global standing.

Which could mean it’s not good for business.

Business leaders are not impressed with Trump’s budget either. Three-fourths of survey respondents said the administration’s budget proposal is not sound.

Politicians also – just one example: Trump’s EPA budget cuts hit strong opposition at House panel – “Members of both parties identified major problems they had with the proposed 30 percent cut to the EPA’s budget and pressed Administrator Scott Pruitt to defend them.”

The overarching message from CEOs is: “Stop the random 3 a.m. tweets and stop the needless brushfires diverting from the agenda,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, the Yale School of Management professor who led the summit.

A no-brainer, still ignored by Trump. Recently:

Both Trump and Clinton could do with leaving her failed bid for the presidency in the past.

But as has become common  Trump Contradicts His Own Account of Comey Firing

Trump terminated Comey on May 9. Two days later, the president revealed he was going to fire him no matter what senior Justice Department officials recommended.

“I was going to fire Comey,” Trump told NBC News in an interview taped May 11. “Regardless of the recommendation, I was going to fire Comey.”

All these distractions and a lack of consistency are not good for the US business or democracy.

Trump has plenty of time to turn things around, focus, and achieve worthwhile things but he seems too easily distracted.

US general discussion

News or views or issues from the USA.USFlag


The White House is seeking suggestions via an online survey on “ways to reorganize the executive branch and eliminate unnecessary agencies”.

Reorganizing the Executive Branch: We Need Your Input!

On March 13th, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order that will make the Federal government more efficient, effective, and accountable to you, the American people. This Executive Order directs the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to present the President with a plan that recommends ways to reorganize the executive branch and eliminate unnecessary agencies.

President Trump wants to hear your ideas and suggestions on how the government can be better organized to work for the American people.

Getting ideas and views from the public is good in a democracy, but a self-selecting online survey won’t give an accurate idea of what the public overall want.

It is fine to get ideas, but is no good as a measurement of public opinion.

The fine print of the survey:

The White House welcomes and values all comments from the public in response to the request for improvements in the organization and functioning of the Executive Branch. The White House may not respond to every comment that is submitted and submissions do not bind the Office of Management and Budget or the Administration to further action. The United States Government reserves full rights to use, copy, or distribute submissions for its purposes without compensation or approval on the part of the submitter. Because your comment may be made available to the public, you are responsible for ensuring that your submissions are free of confidential information, such as personally identifiable information, copyright or other intellectual property restrictions.

By submitting, you agree to receive White House emails about this and other issues.

That last paragraph may raise some concerns – it looks like the survey could be used for email harvesting. That may put some people off submitting on the survey, which may skew the numbers.

City survey – housing

The latest ‘best city’ survey – see Dunedin, Wellington ‘best cities to live in’ – howed that surprisingly low numbers of people thought their city had a poor or very poor quality of life, ranging from 2% in Dunedin and Wellington to 4% in Auckland and Christchurch.

There were both unsurprising and surprising responses on one of the big issues (going by media coverage) – housing.

Stuff reports: Dunedin is the best NZ city to live in – just

While four in five urban Kiwis say they have a good quality of life, less than half consider their housing situation to be affordable.

Housing was one of the main reasons cited by people who said they had a poor quality of life, along with financial anxiety, poor health, and bad job prospects.

Unsurprisingly, Aucklanders were the worst hit, with just 41 per cent considering their housing situation affordable, less than the 42 per cent who said it was unaffordable.

That’s still an even split – probably not much different to the split between house owners and renters.

Those in Dunedin were the most likely to find their housing situation affordable, at 69 per cent.

People at the lower end of the financial scale will always find it difficult to afford housing, whether renting or owning.

It’s still possible to find houses in Dunedin for under $200k and $300k can by some fairly good properties.

Despite these housing issues life satisfaction remained quite high. Research leader David Stuart of the Wellington City Council was somewhat surprised by this.

“It’s a bit of a surprise that you can be facing pressure in one area in your life but still have other things that are working really well for you,” Stuart said.

“Housing is a driver of quality of life, but the strongest driver was a category of responses that would fit more into emotional and physical health.”

Sure many of us may like bigger flasher houses in nice quiet neighbourhoods with great views and handy to everything, but most people can get by with housing, whether renting or owning.

Some people really struggle with housing, probably quite a few in places like Auckland and Queenstown, but those problems are probably amplified somewhat by politicians with agendas and media seeking headlines.

They survey says that in most of the major cities in New Zealand from 1 in 25 to 1 in 50 people think that their city lifestyle is poor or very poor.

Most of us wouldn’t mind winning Lotto but I think most of us also have realistic expectations.

Dunedin, Wellington ‘best cities to live in’

‘Best city’ surveys give a bit of an indication of what people think but there are many factors to consider, like family, work, weather, education, health and what you are familiar with.

The ‘Quality of Life’ project does a two yearly survey, and in the latest one Dunedin and Wellington have come out on top:

Overall quality of life – extremely good+very good:

  • Dunedin: 27+61=88%
  • Wellington: 28+59=87%
  • Porirua: 19+65=84%
  • Hutt: 22+60-82%
  • Hamilton: 18+64=82%
  • Auckland: 18+61=79%
  • Christchurch: 20+58=78%

Those are percentages based on city councils.

Obviously with a much bigger population Auckland numerically has many more people satisfied with their city, but also quite a few more who are dissatisfied, 4% of one and a half million people is 60,000 people, about half the population of Dunedin.

A notable omission of the major cities is Tauranga.

Overall quality of life – poor+extremely poor

 

  • Dunedin: 2+0=2%
  • Wellington: 2+0=2%
  • Porirua: 2+1=3%
  • Hutt: 3+0=3%
  • Hamilton: 2+1=3%
  • Auckland: 4+0=4%
  • Christchurch: 4+0=4%

Those are remarkably low levels of dissatisfaction with cities, especially considering Christchurch and it’s problems with earthquakes. However about 20% of Christchurch residents said they were stressed “always” or “most of the time”.

Stuff reports: Dunedin is the best NZ city to live in – just

Dunedin has pipped Wellington to become the best city in New Zealand to live in, according to a new survey.

 

Statistically Dunedin and Wellington are the same so ‘best’ is barely . However if you combine the greater Wellington cities which include Porirua and Hutt they drop a bit down the scale.

Affordable housing, civic pride, and a strong sense of safety seem to be behind the good results for Dunedin in the biennial Quality of Life Survey.

Those in Dunedin were also more likely to be physically active and less likely to be stressed than their urban counterparts.

The study questioned 7155 Kiwis across seven urban areas and two wider regions. Quality of life in general was relatively steady across the two previous surveys in 2014 and 2012.

The Stuff article covers a number of issues affecting people’s opinion s on their cities, such as stress, traffic and safety.

Wellingtonians were also the most welcoming to outsiders. About three quarters of the capital’s respondents said that New Zealand becoming home for people with different lifestyles and cultures made their city a better place to live in.

Aucklanders were the least welcoming, with just over half (52 per cent) saying diversity was a net positive and one in five saying it was a net negative.

It’s interesting that Auckland has by far the most immigrants and is the least tolerant of them, but ‘locals’ will be seeing huge changes to their city (or in many cases their adopted city).

I will post separately on what the survey found about housing.