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As much as this country may dislike foot and mouth disease, simply banning it would achieve nothing. It has to be managed,
Former Treasurer now ACT leader, Don Brash
, in front of a former Police Minister, Auckland Mayor and fellow candidate for the House of Representatives Hon John Banks, has seriously proposed a realignment of pot policy and reality.
Legal regulation is management of what ever problems , perceived or real, that may manifest, including ensuring that resources are targeted, problems addressed, harms measured, responses balanced, evidence collated and due processes seen to be transparent and ethical. Drug Prohibition satisfies none of these criteria.
We are a country possessed by a paradigm.
While Don Brash answered this question in Christchurch with a 'categorical no' last election, it is economically and philosophically progressive and sensitive to a core election issue that Don responds now.
I honour the fact he has dug himself out of a hole, for there is nothing in ACT's principals that supports flogging a dead horse.
He wasn't the first ACT MP to address drugs. When Clifford Wallace Thornton Jr was guested at ACT's CHCH 2003 end of year rave up (efficacy-online.org
) MP Rodney Hide
said "I agree with everything that man has said". He also said, "I'd legalise all drugs tomorrow" in response to a question from the floor in Christchurch during ACT's leadership quest. It didnt harm his chances,
MP Stephen Franks
later wrote variously on ACT's website on the cannabis issue and memorably said "just because something is legal, doesn't make it laudable".
One thing for sure, if ACT is to be a coalition partner, this issue will not die easily. And they will not loose votes for it this time either, any more than Greens or Labour (whose caucus was the first in the world to decriminalise and legally regulate recreational psychoactive soft drugs under the UN Convention's compliant Misuse of Drugs Act 1975
) led and launched by then social conservative and established drug czar, Hon Jim Anderton
. It became law the day John Key became Right and Honourable. The rest of the world was watching then and it will be watching now.
National is on notice. Peter Dunne
's United Future
is on the outside on this one as is his standing as Associate Health Minister for Drug Policy.
One thing for sure this spring election, no Parliament is serious about fixing the alcohol problem unless it is prepared to deal with the neighbouring intoxicants.
So who should get the credit for that 'curly one' ?