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

Saturday, July 02, 2005

drugs in schools

letter to the Editor,
NZ  Herald
02 July 2005

re: Children dealing and smoking drugs in schools

Is the problem of possession at school failed environmental prevention? [Children Dealing, NZH 02 July]

Prohibition is an adult concept. A principle characteristic of illicit markets is the pyramidal distribution networks foster early entry consumption, sourcing, merchandising and distribution. It is about intensive horticulture, processing, warehousing and transport logistics worth 100's of Millions of dollars even before we have the circumstance of 'illegal possession'. [Possesion is ironically about property and rights].

Altruistic consumers are typically socially adept adults, whereas early adopters are typicaly youth whose dominant intersect is often the institutionalized context.
Criminal activity in familial, social and institutionalized settings endangers young 'otherwise' entrepreneurs as recent statistics show [Fergusson, TV1 1july). Clearly 80% of our youth do not have low self esteem that needs coercive correction.

Those over the age of consent would prefer a legitimate set, setting and source, yet cannabis youth prevalence data for NZ suggests it is the non consumers that are deviant. It is innocuous drug laws that put even these non-participants at risk. Youth 'cool' and peer factors 'set' among social dynamics of testosterone,  inexperience, bravado and boundary testing is the wrong place to put Police. Errors of judgment will be made with life changing outcomes. The required environmental  prevention is biopsychosocial - not brute force, or a blue uniform.

To engage pupils in youth led prevention first identify and remove impediments  - the  'double standards' disabling health promotion. (NZ HSC "Cannabis and Mental Health Inquiry" 1998).
Schools and trustee leadership could be putting cannabis in context and put drug policy back into the community. 

The Netherlands 'environmental prevention model',  now showing  less than one quarter the 'cannabis' youth uptake considered it  the conservative thing to do. It might even be more sustainable than a tax cut!

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