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Dead cop 'victim of prohibition'

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party
12 September 2008, 1.20pm

Dead cop 'victim of prohibition'

The killing of Sergeant Don Wilkinson during a South Auckland police anti-drug operation is a tragedy for his family and colleagues, and they certainly have the sympathy of the ALCP.

However, it needs to be recognised that prohibition as a policy has not worked anywhere in the world. Our police and customs officers concede that what they can do is only the 'tip of the iceberg'and they will never substantially succeed.

A modest step in the direction of legal regulation is needed to get NZ out from the shadows of gangs, crime and violence. How many more people have to die because of the failure to protect, promote and improve the public health relating to intoxicant use?

Prohibition was already a failed policy, but the National Party's 1991 Proceeds of Crime Act was passed and the resulting and now long-established 'tinnie house' networks - and rebellious culture built up around cannabis - have served as a 'p' marketer's dream. These networks have also provided a feeding frenzy for related prohibitionist interests, eg. the police, justice, corrections.

The domestic black market for 'p' is clearly far more dangerous and violent than the cannabis market ever was. What is officially ignored by all NZ political analysts, police and media is the logic of separating soft and hard drug markets, thus reducing the overall hazard for policing and the community. It would be wiser, safer and much less costly for everyone to adopt a genuine harm minimisation approach...by legalising and regulating cannabis as a first crucial step, instead of the current uncompromising 'criminalisation'.

As a community we need to take a step back and apply some equity and common sense, and learn from other countries where drugs are being managed more tolerantly and consistently, with far better outcomes.

The ALCP is determined to raise such issues during the 2008 election campaign.

ENDS

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