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, July 04, 2007

Are drugs more of a problem than alcohol? [TV1 poll]

We (Television One) asked you these questions and you responded:

Is New Zealand a safe place to live?
75% of you said, no it isnt
25% of you said, yes it is.

Are drugs more of a problem than alcohol?
70% of you said yes drugs are more of a problem
30% of you said no.

[and we'll pretend the media has nothing to do with creating this illusion.... /Blair.]

When the NZ Herald ran the story back in mid-March regarding the RSA (UK) report on ABC classification and NZH asked the question Your Views: Have drugs been wrongly demonised? the public response was overwhelmingly in agreement that prohibition has served us badly, but few readers and commenter's (if any) actually appeared to have read the RSA and Medical Research Council reports which explained WHY the ABC classification is both bereft of reason AND counter productive. These were not populist vote catching 'tough on crime' opinions, but rather the balanced, reasoned conclusions drawn from the social record distilled by an august body of experts in science and philosophy.

While heartwarming to see so many well written arguments by a good sample of Kiwi's in the online version of the NZHerald, I for one, cannot understand why investigative journalists (both print, radio, and television) cannot ask politicians hard questions, instead accepting political double speak surrounding 'illicit' drugs as some form of gospel according to UN Convention.

Here is a classic example

Clark pledges assault on P-fuelled crimes of violence ... very worrying and there are resources going in." Police Assistant Commissioner Grant Nicholls said yesterday alcohol and drugs were fuelling violent crime. ...

Where are the hard questions like Why is NZ having a problem with prevalence of P (meth)?

There is a paucity of evidence in the medical literature that supports the contention that the pharmacology of meth is inherently violence inducing. Whereas meth black markets are. We have a legacy of drug related murders, the latest is unravelling in Taupo. Which journo is going to be first to ask "How did P cause this?".

While a feel a certain sadness for the victim, his family, I equally feel the same for the family of the person charged with murder. We have no idea what happened... it may have been a Mexican stand-off in which case the outcome could have been the other way round, but as we all know.. in an illicit market, there are no lawyers. There is no dispute resolution process.

But there is one victim not accounted for here... and that is us. We ALL pay for this mess. It was, as were many other drug related murders and bashings these past 40 years, entirely avoidable.

There is little that can be said for the current prohibitionary model that is precautionary in principle. The evidence is that prohibition is deviancy amplifying by nature. We owe it to ourselves to come to this understanding. It is the stuff of social capital.


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