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, March 25, 2008

Flip-side to ban outlined

Flip-side to ban outlined


Drug law crusader Blair Anderson's approach to lessening the harm of drugs, runs contrary to the mainstream.


Local News - The Timaru Herald - Printable


On Thursday afternoon a brief soap-box sermon in Stafford Street espoused less focus on drug prohibition and more on education and harm minimisation.



Putting benzylpiperazine (BZP) party pills in the same category as marijuana was the way to create a drug problem, he said.



The former Christchurch mayoral candidate is on a soap-box tour of the South Island, but Timaru citizens did not linger to get his message; they went heads-down about their business.



Mr Anderson's campaign arose after party pill laws were to be in a new Class D, a controlled and legally regulated drug, this option was not taken.


He said this R18 approach was the best way to minimise harm.


Banning BZP would create more problems with fewer safety controls, greater illicit profits, more health issues and markets for dangerous alternatives.


He said cannabis prohibition in a country which smokes as much weed per capita as Jamaica was waste of time and money.


But even the offer of free copies of the latest NORMAL magazine with an article on drug laws was not taken up.


In fact the magazine offer increased pedestrians walking speed.


"BZP was not a good drug, but then nor is alcohol, but until we have the required conversation and civil society addresses itself to this issue we will continue to talk round in circles and fix diddly."


Mr Anderson, a self-employed computer specialist, has taken it on himself to raise the issue of drug law because the Law Commission is to look at it.


"The first thing to understand is this methamphetamine, alcohol and BZP prevalence in New Zealand is a product of poor drug policy. This is true at both ends of the harms scale and for all points in between. We are, in our legislative response to drugs, our own worst enemy."


Mr Anderson accepts his views have little public support and politicians see a clear line with drugs and crime as most popular.


When the Misuse of Drugs (Classification of BZP) Amendment Act was passed last week it was supported 109 to 11. However, the Green, Maori and Act parties opposed it.


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