Prohibition is deviancy amplifying behavior. LTE, Scotland on Sunday
108 Holyrood Road,
Edinburgh, EH8 8AS,
It is policy irony that zero tollerance of a consensual 'sin' delivers exactly what it set out to prevent and its stakeholders call this the triumph of good over evil. Wherever the rules are the same, the outcomes (or insert expletive of choice) are the same. Prohibition is just deviancy amplifying behavior.
I have observed this deficiency for thirty years or more. The imperfection of prohibition and its health, security, economic, racial, sexist and ageist failings disgrace us all.
All the more so that this is mostly about pot, a herb which the 'harms are largely overstated' and called 'the safest therapeutic known to man'.I, as a friend of the court have been witness to and aggrieved by Police 'testilying' to judges about the hazards of small time bonafide medical users grow ops. Police then lie to the public - linking pot to violence, organised crime and guns. They declare what they are doing is a net good, often inferring to a receptive, if deluded public it should be grateful and tolerant of any social injustice done to those 'druggie types'. The law is the law and intolerance comes with the territory.
Prohibition is saving us from whom?
New Zealand's "Law Commission" has the efficacy of our dominions drug policy and international obligations up for green-fields review. This is international drug history in the making. For the first time in about a hundred years our global drug conventions and covenants are being tested at law and effect. [http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/]Defacto reform falls way short of the required standard. Mediocre discussion equates to mediocre policy and unresolved tensions.
While God knows the world needs a New Holland, such an appraisal chaired by constitutional legal eagle, former Prime Minister and now Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer will in and of itself document the legacy of failure. Unlike at Vienna, UN Special Assembly or Office of Drug Control [UNASS/UNODC] the opportunity for the rest of the world to contribute is absolutely open. This is the international opportunity the 2002 Canadian Senate Inquiry saw as necessary to resolve the tensions.
New Zealand 'banned the bomb' when no one else could and honoured suffrage when no one else would. It punches above its weight in social welfare, peace policy and civil advocacy. (A legacy of never running away from a fight might stand it in good stead too.)
NZ recently hosted at Wellington's Te Papa ["Our Place"] the final of 18 global 'pre-Vienna' Beyond 2008 NGO meetings. It was notable that the Ministry's of JUSTICE and HEALTH were seen talking together AND in a forum where the Law Commission heard emphaticaly that 'the whole world is watching'. NGO spokespeople including visiting UK Professor David Nutt acknowledged NZ's history, leadership and success in harm minimisation needle exchange [NEP's], youth court diversion and the innovative Class D 'legally regulated' drug classification.
Unlike the UN, the Law Commission is not reviewing where we have come, rather where we should be going. Uniquely, in the spirit of all voices at the table the Law Commission process allows the whole world to partake. To be a drug peace maker one needs to submit to be empowered. Restoration of civil society and its social capital on a global scale is rarely accomplished silently or alone but we now have a beginning..
Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›
50 Wainoni Road, Christchurch, NZ 8061
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
Social Ecologist 'at large'