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

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Which part does ACT not understand?

The Leader, ACT [Association of Consumers and Taxpayers ]

Member of the House of Representatives,  Rodney Hide
Parliament Buildings

26th April, 2006

open letter (published at

Dear Rodney...

The Ministry of Health Policy Directorate came to Christchurch [20/04/2006] and held an afternoon  hui on drugs, alcohol and tobacco..

Her we have a "National Drug Policy Review" with draconian implications [see below] and no one came. (except a couple of friends of mine, and one Ministry of Health employee from Christchurch), no one from the 'intersectorial'  stakeholders, no one from Canterbury District Health Board or Community and Public Health, and no one from the City Council.

In the earlier morning session, Doug Selman, from the [statutory]  Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs was heard to tell the Ministry Directorate [twice I think] the consultation was an "embarrassment' to the Ministry.

Some Hui!

We either have a drug problem or we don't....


A new Cato Institute book, "After Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century," edited by criminal justice scholar Timothy Lynch, makes the case that the drug war has done more harm to our society than have the substances it aims to eradicate and that we should now broaden the public policy debate to include alternative approaches.

The chapters of the book are a veritable top - 10 list of why the drug war has failed:

1. It wastes resources. "For all the money that we're putting into the war on drugs," writes New Mexico Gov. Gary E. Johnson, "it is an absolute failure."

2. It's unconstitutional. Constitutional scholar Roger Pilon shows that the Constitution had to be amended to authorize alcohol prohibition but no such authorization has been given for the war on drugs. The federal government is waging a drug war "without constitutional authority." 

3. It violates our rights. Yale law professor Steven Duke argues that the drug war strips Americans of their Fourth Amendment search-and-seizure protections and Sixth Amendment right to counsel.[it also breaches our human rights/bill of rights 'ethical' standards /Blair]

4. It militarizes the police. Local cops now use military-style tactics and weapons to prosecute the drug war, which has led to unnecessary shootings and killings, according to David B. Kopel of the Independence Institute.

5. It's a failed strategy. Former DEA agent Michael Levine says, "Enforcing criminal laws against dealers has about as much chance of making any impact on the drug problem as a Honda Civic has of breaking the sound barrier."

6. It can't be policed. Most crime victims will report the crime and eagerly help police catch the perpetrator, but former New York police officer Joseph D. McNamara writes that "drug dealing and drug use are consensual transactions between people who treasure their privacy."

7. It's paternalistic. "We cannot protect free adults from their own poor choices," writes former Los Angeles police officer and professor of criminology David Klinger, "and we should not use the force of law to try."

8. Its draconian penalties are unjust. Julie Stewart, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, explains how simple possession of drugs can land a person in jail for 5 to 10 years, even in cases in which the sentencing judge would have chosen otherwise.

9. It inflicts collateral damage. Eroding civil liberties, exploding prison populations and continuing violence are just some effects of the drug war, writes Ted Galen Carpenter of the Cato Institute.

10. It has unintended consequences. George Mason University law professor Daniel Polsby says the drug war distorts the justice system and has created perverse incentives that attract juveniles to crime.

In the final chapter, former California attorney general Daniel Lungren offers a contrasting view, arguing that the drug war is working and that a change in the current policy will result in greater long-term costs.

"As a nation, we have been responsible for the murder of literally hundreds of thousands of people at home and abroad by fighting a war that should never have been started and can be won, if at all, only by converting the United States into a police state."  -- Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate in economics and senior research fellow, Hoover Institution, from the foreword to the book
The Cato Institute is a nonpartisan public policy research foundation dedicated to broadening policy debate consistent with the traditional American principles of  individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.

Complete Title: New Cato Institute Book Looks at Alternative Approaches to Drug Policy

Source: U.S.Newswire
Published: Wednesday, November 29, 2000
Copyright 2000, U.S. Newswire

Related Article & Web Site:  CATO Institute
Beyond Prohibition - Audio & Video Transcripts

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  • At 3:01 am, May 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…


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