Hardly surprising then are we to learn that if he were a global dictator he would dismantle prohibition by legally regulating all drugs. So why is the Law Commission so stuck on the treaty obligations when it can dispense with UN Human Rights and the Ottawa Charter in order to uphold our obligations? Consider some Expert advice to Government some 13 years ago, as we adjusted our National Drug Policy. /Blair
International Treaty ConsiderationsThe Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 is often considered a barrier to the liberalisation of cannabis policies. However, analysis of treaty commentary suggests that treaty proscriptions concerning cannabis are aimed primarily at large-scale (even international) trafficking.
Governmental commissions on cannabis control have arrived at divergent opinions on the question of whether the Single Convention requires signatory nations to ban personal use of cannabis. Most have discerned substantial flexibility in this regard. A 1994 report by the Australian Institute of Criminology took the position that only free availability is ruled out by international treaties, while the Victorian Premier's Drug Advisory Council took the position that partial prohibition (at least) was permitted under the treaties. (Rt Hon. Helen Clarke's favoured description. / Blair.)
Our reading of this complicated literature, and of the treaties themselves, leads us to conclude that a policy of partial prohibition, as defined above, would almost certainly be considered by most authorities as being in compliance with international treaties. On the other hand, a policy of regulated commerce would find less support among a majority of authorities. Of more basic concern is the extent to which international involvements should be permitted to dictate domestic policy.
Suggesting Class D as proposed for the De-Criminalisation of Cannabis is a partial prohibition and a (no additional) restricted commerce policy. There should be no unnecessary artificial, contrived or compliance barrier to something that is SAFER than Alcohol. (saferchoice.org)
The right to possess is a barren right without the right to trade, store, process, label, grade, cultivate, research and merchandise. Anything else is just a gentler kinder prohibition.
But then Prof Emeritus Fred Fastier said the current regime was (and still remains) deficient. (Clifford Wallace Thornton Tour, Dunedin 2003-4) /Blair
Alternative Systems of Cannabis Control in New ZealandCurrent Trustees: (as at above date)
A Discussion Paper, Drug Policy Forum Trust, Wellington, July 1997
Druis Barrett, president, Maori Women's Welfare League
Dr Robin Briant, senior physician, Auckland Hospital
Dr Peter Crampton, research fellow, VUW Health Services Research Centre
Prof Fred Fastier, U of Otago, emeritus, pharmacology
Dr David Hadorn, physician and health researcher (Forum director)
Amster Reedy, Maori scholar and statesman
Prof Norman Sharpe, head, department of medicine, U of Auckland Medical School
Helen Shaw, educationalist
Prof Warren Young, professor of law and ass't vice chancellor of research, VUW
Labels: Australian Institute of Criminology, Health, Human Rights, law, Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs