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

Monday, March 12, 2007

Brits say no to ABC, NZ Herald pretends they didnt.

Demonizing Drugs not the root of the problem, its the demonising (othering) of drug users by what ever means possible.

see 'Demonising' drugs does more harm than good

The Herald has participated in the obsfucation of what the British report really said and why its message may be very important for all New Zealanders.

The National Drug Policy (review) is about to be released. NZ has taken some progressive steps in accomodating 'herbals' with the "class D" initiative and may look to (if Czar on Drugs, Jim Anderton has anything to do with the policy) seeing herbals severely restricted if not banned all together.

However there is where it all falls apart. We, like the UK ascribed to the ABC classification in the vain hope ("so long as it was seen to be largely effective" - Blake Palmer Committee 1974 ) that criminalisation would eliminate the potential problems.

Originaly the Misuse of Drugs ACT [1975] was to be named the 'Drugs, Prevention of Misuse' Bill, a more apltly named strategy had it been adopted, we could have lead the world in compasionate and restorative drug policy... instead we inheritated the disaster that is America's solution... lock em up, and throw away the key.

Here is an excerpt from the Telegraph(UK)- it makes our NZ Expert Advisoy Committee on Drugs (EACD) look lame indeed, as it does our 'seperate the licit from illicit' national drug strategy. Lets hope next weeks (fingers crossed) NDP strategy is a realistic assesement of all that is wrong with our current pretense for a solution. Yeah Right!

Britain's drug policy 'not fit for purpose'

Britain's drug policy is "not fit for purpose" and is failing to cut addiction or drug-related crime, an influential study will conclude today.

Current policy is driven by "moral panic" and is ineffective, with huge amounts of money being wasted on "futile" attempts to get drugs off the streets.

The system, it says, is "crude, ineffective, riddled with anomalies and open to political manipulation", while existing drugs education is often "inconsistent, irrelevant, disorganised" and "delivered by people without adequate training".

Problems are so acute that the Home Office should lose its lead in dealing with drug treatment and enforcement, according to the panel of academics, drug workers and a senior police officer.

The RSA Commission report, which will seek to influence Government policy next year, will prove controversial in some of its findings.

It recommends the introduction of "shooting galleries," where heroin addicts can go to take drugs and receive supervision and help.

It also says that only the worst drug offenders be jailed and that drug misuse should be treated as a social problem rather than a crime.

Among its other recommendations are that the focus of drug education should switch from secondary schools to primary schools in order to better stop children falling into substance misuse.

The focus of enforcement and treatment should also shift - away from illegal drugs - many of which are often "harmless" - and towards alcohol and tobacco - which are the most damaging drugs of all.

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