Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs

213 Responses

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to nzlemming,

    Most cynical piece of electioneering I’ve seen in a long, long time

    True! So Dunne isn't really serving 'the people' is he...
    It's like he pulled his head out of the sand, but may have left his brain behind.

    Dunne said a "mad rush" to bulk-buy synthetic cannabis before it's pulled off the shelves lay squarely at the feet of the Opposition....
    ...He admitted his decision to bring the announcement forward was a political one, sparked by Labour's planned announcement.

    from The Press

    I don't agree with the statement in the article that:

    ...Labour had been spurred on by media coverage of the issue and had "decided to jump on the bandwagon"..

    Opposition has to do what Opposition has to do to keep the Gov't on track, that's their seemingly thankless task and they're finally getting the hang of it...
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I can't decide whether to send the bill for a new transistor radio to Dunne or Espiner - patronising pricks!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    It's interesting that Dunne is the only one from the government fronting this. I wonder if he decided unilaterally to announce it, just to pre-empt Labour, and didn't tell his colleagues until after the event.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    It’s interesting that Dunne is the only one from the government fronting this.

    It will be to keep distance on this between the Government and the issue.

    It occurs to me that if you’re an actual illegal drug dealer selling marijuana and/or other drugs, then you’re going to see a surge in custom in about a month.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    How will the cops/customs prove a random substance found in someone's possession is psychoactive?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Presumably by relying on existing pharmacological guidelines about psychoactive or toxicological properties, Rich? If they exist?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Seize on suspicion, test.

    The time, effort, and cost required to do this are considerable. Which means it is likely that only those who are in possession of quantities for supply, or who have other already illegal drugs, would be tested and then charged.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I've posted some info on maximum penalties relating to synthetic cannabinoids once they're de-approved on the new thread.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to George Darroch,

    Seize on suspicion, test.

    The time, effort, and cost required to do this are considerable. Which means it is likely that only those who are in possession of quantities for supply, or who have other already illegal drugs, would be tested and then charged.

    Yes, it's quite simple. With respect to drugs, the presumption of innocence, that golden thread in our legal system, is finished. This is the very same bunch of policies that not 3 days ago were being heralded on this very thread as amazingly progressive.

    Whoever thought that got played. It was never about making some drugs legal or decriminalized based on harm. It was about making all drugs illegal. The only thing that's surprising in this move is that anyone would not have seen it coming. That a whole lot of really intelligent people didn't is actually astonishing. I guess the genius was the allure of "incremental" policy. It sound soooo scientific, so reasonable. Doesn't matter that every increment was predicated on the elephant in the room every time, so that no meaningful increments could be made, indeed only bad increments with a very slow dripfeed of increasing harm, could be.

    Here we are now. Prohibition is back. Nice one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    That a whole lot of really intelligent people didn’t is actually astonishing. I guess the genius was the allure of “incremental” policy. It sound soooo scientific, so reasonable.

    I do understand your argument, but I’ve always been pretty clear that the PSA on its own and as it stands was never enough. I want to see drug use decriminalised but I’m also fine with the state having a regulatory role the way way it does with the food we eat.

    It’s worth noting that had Labour’s proposed amendment to the PSA succeeded last year there would have been no penalty for possession of unapproved substances. None. As things stand -- and even with what's happened -- prosecution will be merely unlikely.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I want to see drug use decriminalised but I’m also fine with the state having a regulatory role the way way it does with the food we eat.

    A regulatory role, sure. But this regulatory role, no. I'm very much not fine with that.

    I’ve always been pretty clear that the PSA on its own and as it stands was never enough

    I know. It's not your fault. To me it's like refusing to fight someone who is pushing you into a corner, yelling in your face, and lining you up for the big shot. At no point did you ask for the big shot. But pardon me for not being surprised to see it coming.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Helpful,

    I have always thought that it helps in English speaking countries that the word "drugs" is also the word for medicine. In the Netherlands where I live we use the word drugs for everything illegal and criminal and the word medicine (medicijn) for the legal distribution. I believe it helps for people that most common and I think 80% of medicine is the same as the drugs sold for recreational use.
    It is all about your approach, just let people experiment with safe and clean drugs and make everything legal. Let's just see what happens!

    Colorado • Since Mar 2015 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Josh Helpful,

    There's still a big hypocritical gap, even amongst educated professionals. It's ok to have paracetamol (quite risky, high incidence of accident and suicide deaths, limited treatment, low therapeutic index) sold in supermarkets to deal with a hangover, but not MDMA, which is of at least comparable risk, because it's just there to make life more amusing. (One solution to this is to medicalise human mood and personality such that a 'medicine' is needed to 'cure' them).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

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