LTE Southland Times
The increase in legislative response required to manage drug policy is clearly evident in the politics of search and surveillance. That the rest of the world is 'reasoning' the failures of prohibition shouldn't surprise Southlanders, the home of the Invercargill Licensing Trust
that acts as the 'control and regulation' brake on the most harmful drug, once banned, and honoured in its breach with Hokanui stills and trade after-hours to whom ever wished to pay the price asked.
Curiously, and highly relevant to the present politics of retrospective legislation, the passing of the Misuse of Drugs Act in 1975. The Act's working title was 'prevention of misuse bill' which again is highly instructive of where blanket prohibitions fail. The then Minister of Health, Hon Tom McGuigan when addressing the house that this bill would give to Police "powers to which they were not entitled".
All indications are that of the 50 cases currently under investigation and 40 cases before the courts, most of these are drug related, the Law Commissions recent "control and regulate" report becomes highly relevant. For example, it study was to be informed by what is being done in other jurisdictions, when we look at Great Britain, the coalition partner to the current government has moved control and regulate ALL drugs. "Legalise", the L word. The political third rail...
I ask, would the retrospective urgency and Search and Surveillance Bill even be necessary if we actually did 'best practice' drug policy... ? Tom McGuigan didn't think so, so why are we not having that discussion about powers to which they are not entitled?
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