Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Raising Free Range Chickens

I've now been in the Philippines for nearly a year. What have I been up to other than talk about drug policy reform?  Well, I have been raising chickens.  I bought them after watching Dr. Erwin Cruz's video on youtube regarding free range chicken farming.  Its been 6 months since I bought them as 1 day old chicks and they're now all grown up:

We used to raise caged chickens, so we just converted the cages into nestboxes by removing the door and adding some straw:

I also built three wooden nestboxes and sometimes they lay eggs in there, but they mostly lay eggs in the cages that were converted into nestboxes:

Although 90% of the time they lay eggs in the nestboxes, there's still that 10% where they lay eggs anywhere. So that's one of the challenges right now. We have been averaging about 25-30 eggs per day out of 55 hens, so I think that means the hens are doing well.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Discussing Drug Policy with People

Here's an interesting discussion about drug policy in the Philippines that I had with a person I respect highly.  

Me:  ____, are you a believer in the Philippines' current drug policy?

Person X:  Which policy? Sacking of the police, yes. Killings, no.  [Philippine Police Chief] Bato does not subscribe to the killings.

Me:  How about drug legalization or decriminalization?  For or against?

Person X: Against, except marijuana for medical reasons

Me:  There are those, such as myself, who believe that the anti-drug campaign has created the powerful drug lords we see now.  If we legalize or at least decriminalize drugs, then we take away that power from the drug lords.  They will have no reason to exist because there will be legal, safe dispensaries such as those in Colorado.  There's also the argument that arresting people for small amounts of drugs is a waste of police resources when the police could instead be out chasing real criminals like plunderers and murderers and rapists.  What do you think of these arguments?

Person X: We used that argument in campaigning for legal medical marijuana. But I will never agree to make shabu legal.

Me: Ok, at least we agree on marijuana.  hehe.  I am also somewhat hesitant about harder drugs like shabu.  However, the alternative is that the drug users will shoot up drugs no matter what.  They're addicted.  So what they end up doing is sharing needles which leads to high cases of HIV.  Drug policy should be dictated by health experts, not law enforcement.  That's my take.  
Pahabol.  hehe.  With shabu, perhaps what could be done is do what Portugal does -- decriminalize drug use.  The drug offender would be fined instead of jailed and he/she would undergo rehab.  Make it an administrative issue, not a criminal issue.  The jails are already filled to the brim with non-violent drug offenders, waiting years for their case.  That doesn't seem right.

The bright side of this debate is that a medical marijuana bill has been filed in the Philippine Congress, which I think is a step in the right direction.

Shout out to NoBox Transitions Foundation, Inc. for this graphic: