The Pickering Post
Wednesday, 24th October 2018

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Larry Pickering

Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.


The AFP drug haul of a record three tonne of ecstasy (MDMA) and ice (crystal meth) was successful in “keeping billions of dollars worth of dangerous drugs off our streets”. If only that were true. Actually, the only success achieved was that of an AFP public relations coup.

Seizing that amount of narcotics from “off our streets” only proves the extent of the market for so-called “recreational” or “party drugs”. 

Take ecstasy. A National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre report found the median age of ecstasy fatalities was 26, with the youngest victim 17 and the oldest 58. But a closer look at the statistics tells another story. 

Despite multiple millions of ecstasy tablets taken in just one year in Australia, the centre found only 100 people had died over the past eight years (around 12 people per year) and it’s admitted that a combination of other drugs “was likely” a major factor in most cases.

In fact 75 per cent of all ecstasy deaths were found to have been caused by combining other drugs such as alcohol and marijuana (but it’s doubtful marijuana could have played any significant part). 

So deaths from ecstasy (MDMA) alone amount to, on average, three per year. 

"There are a lot of accidental deaths where MDMA is thought to have played a role . . . and this seems to be a more prominent and prevalent concern," the NDAR Centre's assistant director Louisa Degenhardt said. "A lot of bad things can happen when combining drugs because accidents happen when people are intoxicated with any drug." 

This figure of three MDMA deaths per year compares to around 1400 deaths per year due to road accidents. Forget MDMA and road accidents, alcohol alone caused 5,554 deaths and 157,132 hospitalisations during 2010, according Dr Belinda Lloyd, head of Population Health Research at Turning Point. 

Another major factor in ecstasy fatalities is quality. Immediately following a large drug seizure, a shortage is created and the price of the product soars, sending amateur back-yard manufacturers scurrying to satisfy a now lucrative market. 

There are ample ingredients in any medicine cabinet and laundry to “manufacture” MDMA if you know what you’re doing, but many don’t, and in the rush to fill orders at $60-$80 per tab, ingredients like rat poison, cleaning agents and crushed glass have been used by unscrupulous “suppliers” when capitalising on a shortage. 

So, how many of those three people per year who die from MDMA toxicity alone have actually taken something entirely different? 

During periods of critical shortages many ecstasy tablets have been found to have comprised no MDMA ingredients at all. There lies the real danger, albeit a small one. 

Historically, drug prohibition, including highly addictive alcohol, has failed, it has encouraged the criminal element into the supply chain, it has usurped policing resources and cost billions. 

And there is no evidence at all to suggest ecstasy is any more addictive than a Nurofen tablet but accidents do occur mainly when a user tries to replicate the sensation felt with the initial dose by taking more. It simply doesn’t work that way. 

The most pleasant sensation will always be the first time MDMA is taken and trying to recapture it by taking more usually ends up at the outpatients at the local hospital.

But whatever you do, never ever attempt to drive under the influence of MDMA. It will delay your reaction time by a full second.

Now, to the seized tonne of crystal meth (ice). This drug has taken over from cocaine in Australia. It is far cheaper, far easier to make, it is far more addictive and easier to conceal. 

The reason so much ice is reaching Australia is that, like cocaine, it commands a price three times that of anywhere else in the world.

It can have personality- and mind-altering effects and if you become “hooked” (it’s highly likely you will) you can kiss your arse goodbye. 
There is no coming back from it, and a frightening pandemic of destruction is now underway. Don’t try it, don’t even go near it!

As Tony Abbott says, “it’s a war that will never be won”. Containing it by prohibition will never work, people will always acquire what people want and cost is not a factor because an increase in price means an increase in burglaries or users becoming part of the supply chain, and that's a fatal combination. 

Education can have an ameliorating effect but only if educators are honest. 

The problem with AFP seizures is a lack of differentiation. Crystal meth is lumped in with MDMA and marijuana, yet their similarities are like chalk and cheese. One will make you happy, another will allow you to enjoy a good book and the other is likely to kill you.

When kids get around to trying ecstasy, as most will, they discover it’s not the demon authorities say it is. Therefore they believe the same lie has been told to them about crystal meth. 

It’s far better to tell kids the truth in the first place.


Vested interest here Larry ??? family matters ???? I have a solution to the problem if the corrupt Police and Customs could be taken out of the system. Anyone dealing in any amount of hard drugs the like that is in this article DEATH penalty no prison sentence death penalty as long as they have been found in possession of a traffic able amount of said drugs. Does not matter who they are or what connections they have. Same as some of our Asian neighbors and China. Death to dealers and death to traffickers, after all they are dealing in death.

Larry, so correct! How many kids get into drunken brawls at raves and festivals such as The Falls or Sterosonic? None! Agree totally the meth should be wiped out but the facts are that its cheaper to have a night out on that, than it is on alcohol. MDMA or Ecstasy is formulated by illegal labs and quite often the pills are mixed with meth, speed or heroin to get the user addicted. MDMA has no evidence of addiction and infact only releases serotonin into the brain in sufficient quantities to create the feeling of well being. Until the brain can produce more serotonin there is no point in taking a second or third dose. The government needs to take control of this and parents need to educate their children about the realities of life.


Larry you should hang your head in shame. Any article promoting the use of any illegal drug is a scandal and a disgrace. These drugs destroy lives and families and for some, death is a blessing as the addicted can have peace. There should be severe penalties for both users and sellers as one does not survive without the other. It is unconscionable for one person to profit from another's addiction.

A well written article and unlike some of the comments who do not understand, the fact is that making drugs illegal just makes crooks rich and opens another corruption path for police. We have to stop wasting money trying to police drug use out of existence. Fifty years of trying has shown it is a complete waste of money. Make drugs legal, tax their sale, regulate the quality and put the taxpayers money into rehab and education. The end result wi be that the criminals will lose their easy cash flow, there will be more money to help addicts kick the habit and it will cost the taxpayer less overall.

The only true solution to this is, "Swing a Dealer a Day".
String them up in a gallows in a paddock and leave them to the crows, maggots and ants as a warning to all that if you mess with drugs, you become a debt to society and are only good for mulch.


It's all about making money. Increase the powers of the taxation department, confiscate and imprison those who profit from the trade, who ever they are. Drugs are destructive to health and social stability.

I can't see the Methodone program being of any use in treating the "New Generation" drugs.

WE should dispense with the euphemism "intoxicated" and say what we really mean....It's "poisoned" whether it's ice. pot or piss.

Rosemaryoung also made lewd remarks to Kirralie.

How about we treat crims like crims treat crims. Capital punishment for supply, compulsory. We are told harsh penalties don't work, but it does for the criminals themselves, that is how they rule.

More Christmas burqas. How come posters below here have the Christmas burqa avatar.? When I logged on now onto the Abbott story I had it as well, but not at the top of the page, only at the comment rectangle. I thought the site had been got at again (still?), and I logged off and on to another story and I had my flowers in the comment spot. whew!! I'm OK here. But Orang and compass, I see you as burqas. and jimjim and Jeff further down.

There's an awful stench from the previous occupants that's hard to eliminate.

I told my kids the plain truth right from the get-go. "If I ever find out that you are taking drugs or hanging out with people who do, you are out of my house and out of my life, for ever, and there's no coming back!" Worked a treat.

Howard did the same thing with Heroin. Cracked down on it completely, and then wondered why the market for meth amphetamine exploded. Meth and its derivatives are a far worse option than heroin. Australia should forgo its war on drugs, and look towards legalisation or at least decriminalisation. Government operated clinics could save billions of dollars and thousands of lives, as is being shown by the modelling in other countries. Short sightedness leads to myopia...

So what you are saying Larry is that we should just give up and let the evil drug barons and cartels have it all! , I have no sympathy for drug addicts, no one makes you use that shit! Judging by the election result in Victoria plenty of it gets used down there!

An easy way, I think, to solve the world-wide drug problem would be to completely legalise the supply of presently prohibited drugs, with government (agency's) being the sole supplier - at cost. The benefits could be -
* quality assurance - you get what you pay for, unadulterated
* little or no profit margin to encourage illegal dealers
* huge savings in law enforcement costs
* no incentive for corruption
* recreational and intelligent users are not classed as criminals
* heavy, dumb-arse users die from overdoses and cease to be a worry.

And these 3 coconuts would see the rope, too:

“Akuila Bisasa, Solomone Komai Vukici and Jason Drollet, all aged 34, have been charged with trying to import 1917kg of ecstasy (MDMA) and 849kg of crystal methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of $1.5 billion.

The trio were part of six men arrested at a Smithfield factory unit at 3.30am on Saturday by federal and NSW police in the largest methamphetamine seizure in Australia’s history.

The group allegedly has links to one of Sydney’s bikie gangs."

athras 4 hours ago
And on a related theme and just when you thought that the UK could not become worse:

Kennedy 1 second ago
Taking their Profits name in vain - Christ you wouldnt really want to call a child Christ now - wouldnt be allowed maybe ....