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Libertarianz: Prohibition Won’t Solve Legal High Issues

Press Release

Libertarianz: Prohibition Won’t Solve Legal High Issues

Libertarianz Leader Richard McGrath believes the media, politicians and community advocates need to get off the prohibition bandwagon in regard to legal highs. “Drug prohibition always fails, simply exacerbating more problems than it solves. Alcohol prohibition was a disaster, cannabis prohibition is a train wreck and prohibition of the current legal highs on the market will not be any different.”

“Whenever a substance is banned, control of its manufacture and distribution is moved away from legitimate private businesses to underground criminal organisations. Violence becomes a tool of business, product quality plummets and those we have sought to protect with prohibition actually become the worst affected victims.”

Dr. McGrath, who has worked in the field of drug and alcohol dependence, holds sensationalist media responsible for instigating on going witch hunts against retailers of legal highs. “These campaigns begin with stories about hospital admissions and end with tales of murderous psychosis, much like the now discredited Reefer Madness campaigns against cannabis. Usually any issues with a drug are the result of incredibly irresponsible use and the number of instances pale in comparison to those involving alcohol.

“Drug use must be treated as a health issue, not a legal one. Drug use is primarily an issue of personal freedom and self-ownership of our bodies. Consenting adults should be free to choose what they wish to ingest as well as being held responsible for that decision.”

McGrath says that the new trend of neighbourhood crusaders seeking to have legal high retailers in the area they live shutdown is especially concerning. “Individuals such as Manurewa Local Board Chairperson Angela Dalton have this completely unjustified idea that they have a right to dictate to individuals and businesses whether they may or may not do business. Incredibly she thinks she should have the right to decide who may or may not trade in ‘her’ community.

“People who think they have the right to ban a business from ‘their’ community because they do not like the products or services it trades are misguided at best. Individuals’ ownership ends at their property boundary and their rights end where my nose begins. Nobody should have the right to use mob rule tactics to shut down a legitimate business. Anyone who does not like the trade that goes on in private premises can use the power of boycott and social sanction to oppose the business, but should not have the force of the law behind them.”

Ironically, it would appear that the crusades of the anti-legal high lobby are doing far more harm than good.  Dr. McGrath says that if the anti-synthetic cannabis lobbyists are to be believed, each new type of product is getting more harmful and damaging. “That is the effect of prohibition! The first major legal high product was BZP and was largely safe. It never resulted in any deaths but was a victim of media and communitarian scandals. The early cannabis substitute products also had negligible negative health effects but also got the chop by the Government. Now each product that gets banned is replaced by something allegedly worse. If this doesn’t prove the destructive power of prohibition, I don’t know what else can!

“Raw scientific data from around the world proves that liberal drugs laws result in less harm. Cannabis decriminalisation in Holland has resulted in use rates that are a fraction of the levels seen in New Zealand. In Portugal, legalisation of possession has also seen widespread drops in drug use and new HIV infections. ”

Dr. McGrath concludes saying, “Ultimately however, the issue of drugs is an issue of freedom. You own your body! You own your life! However you responsibly exercise that sovereignty is none of the business of egoist small time politicians or nosey parker neighbours.”


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