Renewed calls for drug decriminalisation
Tue, 16 Oct 2012 8:58a.m.
By 3 News online staff
A new study published in the UK says drugs should be decriminalised. It argues that's the best way to address the drug problem and won't result it an increase in substance abuse.
The New Zealand Drug Foundation’s Ross Bell believes drugs should be decriminalised.
“Our drug law, just like the UK’s, is now 37 years old. It was designed at a different time,” Mr Bell told Firstline this morning.
He says the debate around the decriminalisation of drug use is a highly-charged issue.
“It’s probably the most politicised area of health policy, and we’ve seen time and time again in New Zealand where a politician might speak out about doing something different and they get slapped down and they suffer in the polls,” Mr Bell says.
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22/10/2012 8:44:30 a.m.
Fair Nzer wrote:
Drugs like gambling should be decriminalised. Bear in mid that all poor gamblers and not all drug-users can result in bankruptcy...
19/10/2012 8:12:35 a.m.
Blair Anderson wrote:
It would be really excellent if TV3 (in this case) actually talked about NZ's innovative world class drug "USE" legislation, sometimes reffered to as Class D. It makes all the nesessary provisions for a reguilated and taxed R18 soft drug, ie less harmful than tobacco or nicotine etc. (Helen Clark's partial prohibition). Passed by Jim Anderton and the very last thing the Labour party did t became law the day John Key became Prime Minister.. It is a pretence to pretend these laws are not important and then trot out the odd word from those with a vested ibterest in status quo as if that mattered. Some real journalism please.
18/10/2012 2:34:45 p.m.
Wiseacre, I partly agree with you insofar as Class C drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act go. I don't think that their potential 'harm' warrants continued prohibition- harm minimisation and risk reduction would be better strategies to contain any ill effect. The same goes for some Class B drugs, particulary Ecstacy. However, Class A drugs (ie P/crystal meth) do harm others as well as their users and they need to remain prohibited. That said, there is certainly a case for liberalisation of drug laws- but not total laissez faire.
18/10/2012 12:27:48 p.m.
@MIKE - What a ridiculous argument. Your attempt to put drug offences in the same category as child abuse is specious nonsense. They do not compare.
Child abuse is a crime against another person. Drug *crimes* are typically victimless, with no-one getting hurt - someone selling a bit of cannabis to someone else who wants to buy it.
Drug use does not directly harm other people. Individuals should have the right to partake in any actions they choose, as long as these actions do not impede the rights of others.
17/10/2012 8:48:01 p.m.
So they claim that the legal system hasn't solved the problems of drugs and magically made them go away so it should be decriminalised?The same could be said about child abuse. What next? Calls to legalise child abuse!
17/10/2012 12:46:30 p.m.
I think there would probably be age restrictions on cannabis use if it were ever to be decriminalised, as well as (one hopes) assay and genetic tests to prevent it being sold to people who might develop cannabis psychosis for mental health reasons.Heroin is awful stuff, but fortunately, our maritime border and small population means that it isn't a major drug problem here. P/crystal meth is unfortunately far easier to synthesise and should never be decriminalised. As for greater drug decriminalisation, perhaps harm minimisation and risk reduction would work as it has with the Revised Opium Act 1976 within the Netherlands. And perhaps we should also introduce medical maintenance for addicts and safe injecting facilities so they're not inadvertantly exposed to HIV/AIDS through dirty needles
17/10/2012 8:06:23 a.m.
Would this be all drugs or just cannabis?. While deregulation sounds good, I would not like to on a bus for example if the driver had taken any type of drugs. There are so many types eg cannabis, prescription tablets, heroin, synthetic drugs, E, P etc. Heroin has helped fuel the war in Afghanistan by them selling drugs to the world, and then using the money to buy weapons to kill there own people and the worlds troops who are sent there. So if you use Heroin you are killing your own people. Flawed logic maybe but have a think about it. But there does seem to be to much put into small time users. If the government made cannabis legal think how much tax they could make, considering they are putting the tax up agsin on cigerettes again.
16/10/2012 7:14:10 p.m.
I'm with Wiseacre on this one. The whole issue of drug law reform just drags on and goes nowhere. Imagine a New Zealand where politicians had dug their heels in and refused to pass other items of legislation over other human rights issues. We would live in a country where women still don't have the vote, racism in employment is acceptable, homosexuality and prostitution are still illegal. It's mind boggling that we can be so far behind the reality of the situation on this issue. The time for change was in the 90's. It's now wildly overdue.
16/10/2012 2:46:40 p.m.
Wiseacre, i agree with your comment.it's about time Science took the lead rather than religulous or politician mind sets.
16/10/2012 12:52:57 p.m.
wow, wiseacre has said it all really. its time for change
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