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PPTA need to recognise legalisation is the answer


PPTA need to recognise legalisation is the answer.

As the Post Primary Teachers Association receives new reports on the failure of prohibition to keep drugs, bullying and violence out of schools, reformers claim legal regulation of cannabis is needed to protect the public, and inform New Zealanders about the relative (and age related) risks of drugs and alcohol.

Policy must be based on reality - and equity, say the Mild Greens.

The national drug survey shows 16% are cannabis users. Denial of the culture by enforcers and anti-drug zealots has backfired, and is inviting teen rebellion, and related "anti-social behaviours".

However, as Green M.P. Nandor Tanczos points out, 'drugs in schools' is nothing new, and has little to do with his prominent reform advocacy, as claimed this morning on National Radio by Trevor Grice of the Life Education Trust.

Uncontrolled availability of drugs is fuelled by the black market context - "when kids go to a tinny house, no-one asks for age ID.."

And under the prohibitionist National Government during the 1990s, cannabis use increased by 20%. This was before Nandor became an M.P, conscientiously trying to change NZ's most insidious law.

The Mild Greens say Nandor is a hero for the young people of NZ, not because he is a cannabis user (however moderate), but because he is right.

PROHIBITION IS WRONG. It nurtures crime and alienation, is simplistic, fundamentally ineffective, unaccountable, and unfair against otherwise law-abiding citizens (and there are an awful lot of us in NZ…).

Furthermore, if NZ was truly a representative democracy, there would proportionally be 20 MP's who are cannabis users, and significantly more MPs would reflect informed public concern about the "unintended consequences" of prohibition.

In any case, isn't the Health Select Committee supposed to be working an Education Strategy for Cannabis??? (after 2 years of stalling and deferred adjudication on the Legal Status - the core element of the Inquiry's terms of reference…) And didn't the previous Parliamentary investigation into cannabis conclude that the double standards surrounding marijuana (alcohol and tobacco) discredited attempts at drug education??

Can the anti-drug sector (cabinet ministers included) please show us their investigation of the efficacy of prohibition? Can they explain in a sentence why existing drug and alcohol education isn't working???

Given that principled public policy must uphold the rights of individuals where these do not unreasonably impinge on others, can the Drug Education Strategy of Ministers Anderton, Goff and Hawkins recognise any obvious flaws in existing policy, which might generate disrespect?

The harms of having in place "flawed worst practice" health promotion policy are orders of magnitude beyond what may be achieved by pathetically raising the drinking age back to twenty, as if this is the core problem.

The Mild Greens say that drug strategy minister Anderton's drug and alcohol double standard is yet another hollow gesture from politicians who are being paid very nicely thank you very much, and don't really want to solve the problem.

Can Government table a cost-effectiveness analysis of procedures and penalties for the tens of thousands of people caught in possession of marijuana each year?

The Ministry of Health sought such an analysis seven years ago, and $50,000 was provisionally budgeted for the purpose. However seven yrs later, literally billions have been spent on invasive cannabis laws, with no scrutiny of the cost or counter-productivity. The public have been beguiled instead with a smoke-screening of prohibition-related harms from the National Drug Policy development documents.

There is no policy analysis because administrators are in fear of their jobs: a) if they appear to be pro-drugs, soft on crime; b) if the law changes equitably and the dysfunction dissipates.

Canada, with similar governance problems relating to the cannabis black market and unwarranted criminalisation, has recently issued a 600 page Special Senate Committee report calling for the declassification of cannabis - ironically with 16 as the legal age limit.

Does this social reform message ring a bell, Helen Clark, Annette King, Tim Barnett (and the rest of the Labour Party social-equity hypocrites)???

Prohibition as institutionalised in NZ, is a harm minimisation policy fraud and thus constitutes a crime against the people.

Worse, the criminalisation policy is uniformly (and blindly) backed by teachers and principals who wish to suppress the reform advocacy of Nandor without hearing what he is saying, and why he is so desperate to be understood.

Pity that teachers and principals and MPs can misrepresent and impugn Nandor as "pro-pot", when his stance is actually "anti-prohibition", and for good reason, as anyone with half a brain can see.

The bullying behaviour against the one MP who is in tune with NZ youth does a terrible disservice to the ethics of education, and the injustice does not go unperceived by the adolescent culture of NZ.

What kind of message does that send the kids??

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