Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Drug policy fails children coroner told

Fairfax New Zealand Limited

Drug policy fails children coroner told

TUESDAY , 05 OCTOBER 2004

By NIKKI MACDONALD
The Government should get out of family business and parents should take back responsibility for children, Wellington's coroner has been told.

Giving evidence into an inquiry into the deaths of six Wellington young people from solvent abuse, veteran youth drug and alcohol counsellor Trevor Grice called for an overhaul of all law and policy relating to children.

Investigating the broader issue of substance abuse, coroner Garry Evans has called on educators and government agencies to say what is needed and what is being done.

Mr Grice said well-meaning ideas and laws were "fundamentally flawed" and the Government's harm- minimisation approach sent mixed messages: "Teaching children how to drink safely, or how to use drugs safely, is in direct conflict with the law.

"Governments need to govern and lead and keep out of family and whanau business."

New Zealand had "failed miserably" in its efforts to protect children from drug use, he said. Today's problems were the legacy of "a 20-year romance with harm minimisation" and conditioning that cannabis was harmless.

There was a "gigantic difference" between the effects of drugs on adults and their effects on children and teenagers, Mr Grice said. Studies had shown that a person's brain was still developing, up to the age of about 25. Teenagers had faster absorption rates and less effective metabolic systems to break the substances down.

Both parents and children needed to face up to their responsibilities as well as their rights, Mr Grice said.

"There needs to be a huge wake-up call for parents to come to the decision-making forefront. However, this may be terribly difficult while government agencies act as de facto parents."

The Privacy Act disfranchised parents and was "anti-family", Mr Grice said. He called for:

# Better education for parents.

# Support, not control, from government agencies.

# "Outdated and unscientific" education programmes to be replaced by education based on the science of drug effects.

# More small centres for in-patient drug and alcohol treatment.

# Urgent action on herbal highs, which sent the message there was a better life to be had through chemical influence.

# Changes to the Independent Youth Benefit, which sometimes led to four or five 16-year-olds renting a "shack" and dealing and using substances.

The hearing continues today
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1 Comments:

  • At 10:02 am, October 06, 2004, Blogger Blair J Anderson said…

    There are some brilliant lines in the NZ YOUTH MINISTRY document... about what does and doesnt work in mass media campaigns on drug policy and other health promotion strategies.

    * To be effective, however, the message must also be right for the viewer´┐Żs stage of problem acknowledgement and readiness for change
    * It appears that most mass media health promotion campaigns appear to increase knowledge but have little impact on behaviour.
    * Presenting poor health choices as preventable and deviant may tend to imply blame or suggest that people lack self-motivation. Such messages may be ineffective if they are perceived by their target audiences as moralistic
    * The narrow focus on individual behaviour and the potentially manipulative techniques have also been criticised.
    * Targeting behavioural change messages to people who do not see their own behaviour as a problem raises issues not only about effectiveness, but about resistance and ethics.


    Just a small selection of what the governments says... now doesnt this make GRICE look like a a bit of a twat and whats that furkin coronor doing if not manufacturing consent. LIFE is uttering a bit of HATE SPEECH!! hmm, yep, fits the bill. dang!

    http://www.myd.govt.nz/media/pdf/effdrug120-168.pdf

     

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