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NZ Free-trade deal a smokescreen for USA dominance

NZ Free-trade deal a smokescreen for USA dominance

An American drug law reform advocate believes the visit of six Republican senators to NZ this week highlights the strategic importance of NZ to the US ‘global business machine’.

Clifford Thornton Jr. (of the USA reform think-tank Efficacy) says New Zealand needs to be extremely wary about the agenda of six of George W. Bush’s right-hand men.

“These are money men”, says Mr Thornton: “Their agenda is tightening the screws on trade, with a view to maximizing State-side power and profits.

The senators have signalled that NZ’s anti-nuclear policy is an impediment to favoured ‘free-trade’ status with the USA.

“But you can guarantee that a subtext of the negotiation with NZ Foreign Minister Phil Goff, is that the NZ Government had better not even think about easing up on drugs, particularly cannabis”, says Mr Thornton.

The US-led War on Drugs represents foreign policy exploitation which creates division, strife, wars – and terrorism. “Look at Bolivia, Columbia, Paraguay, Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and more recently look at the despicable USA stand over in Ghana, a peaceful cannabis producing country on Africa’s ivory coast. (see http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17483)

Drug enforcement is the destabilizing factor, and vehicle for dominance, repression and arms deployment. Most countries will buckle under, and face civil unrest as a consequence.

But the tough line doesn’t work. “Prohibition and vilification of drug use has been an unmitigated disaster in the US and NZ and the rest of the world.

“Terrorists are motivated by their perhaps understandable hatred of US foreign policy, and are funded substantially by the illicit drug trade. But that is because of the stupidity of making these high-demand agricultural substances illegal - Prohibition creates the very problem it claims to solve”.

Instead we need to approach drug use humanely from a realistic and equitable ‘harm reduction’ perspective.

Mr. Thornton says until the prohibitionists acknowledge the actual destructive economics and social impact of prohibition, they will look and act like a dog chasing its tail. “A dog never catches its tail and we will never come to grips with drug usage or drug addiction until we end drug prohibition. Then and only then is when the real work starts to solve the problems of drug usage and drug addiction – and global unrest.”

Clifford Wallace Thornton Jr. In association with mildgreens.com

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