Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Complete rethink needed of all drug laws

Complete rethink needed of all drug laws

NORML has advised the Ministry of Health a complete rethink is needed of all drug control laws and policies.

In it’s submission to the discussion document on the New National Drug Policy, New Zealand’s longest running cannabis law reform group said the lack of any willingness to look at first principles, and the missed opportunity to place the NDP in a world context, is especially sad given that NZ is now taking a world-leading initiative with “legal highs”.

“At a time when countries around the world are experimenting with alternative approaches to controlling drugs by implementing policies that reject the failed War on Drugs, this new National Drug Policy seems to be saying “let’s have more of the same”,” said NORML president Chris Fowlie, of Auckland.

Mr Fowlie pointed to NORML’s endorsement of the Wellington Declaration, a consensus on a way forward for New Zealand’s national drug policy.

“The consensus is that cannabis use should be a health issue, not a crime. There should be safe, legal access to medicinal cannabis. We believe there should be an adults-only regulated and taxable market for cannabis and other low risk drugs, and New Zealand’s world-leading Psychoactive Substances Act should be widened to include all low risk drugs, including cannabis.”

“New Zealand should investigate and learn from international developments including cannabis law reforms in Colorado, Washington, Uruguay, and the process to review the UN drug control treaties,” added NORML secretary Phil Saxby, of Wellington. “We should be extremely concerned to have the world’s highest cannabis arrest rate, and the world’s highest teenage cannabis use rate – at a cost of over $300 million per year.”

Mr Fowlie pointed to New Zealand’s track record of significant social reforms. “We led the world with needle exhanges, and the Psychoactive Substances Act is perhaps the best drug law in the world.”

In its submission, NORML said it agreed with Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne’s call for evidence-based approach to regulating drugs: “[T]he Psychoactive Substances Act… could well become the model by which narcotic drugs, currently controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act, are regulated for the future… After all, most experts now concede the so-called “war” on drugs has failed, and new initiatives are required.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Budget '17: Budget Spends Down Future Surpluses

Tax cuts for every working New Zealander, targeted to low and middle income earners, more generous assistance for families and renters, and a massive spend-up on public services infrastructure mark Finance Minister Steven Joyce’s election year Budget.

The package of changes to income tax thresholds, the Working for Families programme, and the Accommodation Supplement is the Budget’s political centrepiece and will cost $2 billion a year. More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

ALSO:

 
 

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election