A more sensible drugs policy

May 3rd, 2011 at 3:13 pm by David Farrar

The has completed its report reviewing our drug laws. Their key proposals include:

  • A mandatory cautioning scheme for all personal possession and use offences that come to the attention of the police
  • Removing minor drug offenders from the criminal justice system and providing greater opportunities for those in need of treatment to access it.
  • A full scale review of the current drug classification system which is used to determine restrictiveness of controls and severity of penalties, addressing existing inconsistencies and focusing solely on assessing a drug’s risk of harm, including social harm.
  • Making separate funding available for the treatment of offenders through the justice sector to support courts when they impose rehabilitative sentences to address alcohol and drug dependence problems;
  • Consideration of a pilot drug court, allowing the government to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of deferring sentencing of  some  offenders until they had undergone court-imposed alcohol and/or drug treatment

I think the Law Commission’s proposals are very sound, and they are not a “soft line on drugs“, as Stuff says.

Giving people a criminal record over a one time possession of small amounts of cannabis is silly, considering arund half the adult population have smoked cannabis. I’m not one of them incidentially.

I hope the Government does not reject this report knee-jerk, and doesn’t rule out any changes which might lead to better outcomes for New Zealand and New Zealanders. The proposed warning system for drug use provides good incentives for people to stop.

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59 Responses to “A more sensible drugs policy”

  1. eszett (2,411 comments) says:

    I’m not one of them incidentially.

    Did you not try or just “didn’t inhale”?

    [DPF: Never tried]

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  2. annie (539 comments) says:

    I just wish people would get real about their touching belief in the efficacy of treatment for drug offenders.

    Addicts give up when they are good and ready, and this doesn’t usually coincide with the moment when some well-meaning person decides they are ‘in need of treatment’.

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  3. Pete George (23,578 comments) says:

    A full scale review of the current drug classification system which is used to determine restrictiveness of controls and severity of penalties, addressing existing inconsistencies and
    focusing solely on assessing a drug’s risk of harm, including social harm.

    I wonder where alcohol will fit in there.

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  4. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Holding breath for utterly mental, OTT, illogical, vote-grabbing response from “Lustfor” Power and “Crusher” Collins any minute now… brolly at the ready to fend off the spittle…

    Well done, the Law Commission.

    @annie – you’re right. But quite often it is at the point where they realise their drug of choice has made them behave in such a way that they are dangling on the precipice of a prison sentence. For others it might come right after a very brief look at the inside of a cell.

    When it doesn’t happen is when they’re locked in prison for ridiculous lengths of time, bored out of their brains, denigrated for their addiction (while people addicted to other things, from sex to chocolate, are fawned over sympathetically in every issue of every women’s magazine) and right in the middle of the one place where drugs are easiest to come by.

    Coming into contact with the criminal justice system can be a powerful motivator to clean up your act. Let’s make use of that stick, and the carrot suggested by the Law Commission, and create something that works. Because pursing our lips, looking down our noses, and ordering up some more shipping containers to shovel our addicts into sure as hell isn’t.

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  5. annie (539 comments) says:

    When it doesn’t happen is when they’re locked in prison for ridiculous lengths of time, bored out of their brains, denigrated for their addiction (while people addicted to other things, from sex to chocolate, are fawned over sympathetically in every issue of every women’s magazine) and right in the middle of the one place where drugs are easiest to come by.

    I agree with you there, and rehabilitation is certainly worth a try. But with most subjects, I think it is naive to assume it will actually be successful. As an A&D physician I know once told me – you can tell when an addict is lying – their lips move.

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  6. backster (2,174 comments) says:

    It sounds to me like a good recipe for letting drug use get completely out of hand. The Police already exercise discretion over first offenders and one time use of cannabis. What is being suggested is virtual decriminalisation. As for this so called rehabilitation and treatment, only one question Who Pays? because it would be very expensive.

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  7. Rick Rowling (813 comments) says:

    Well I reckon… Damn, forgot what I was going to say.

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  8. redeye (629 comments) says:

    Who Pays?

    Probably the same people that pay for the rehabilitation and treatment of alcoholics.

    If you’re going to use some sort of cost benefit analysis you should factor in the current cost of enforcement.

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  9. big bruv (13,906 comments) says:

    The only change I want to see to our drug laws is the introduction of the death penalty for those caught trafficking or dealing in drugs.

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  10. redeye (629 comments) says:

    Does that include the drug that kills one in 25 world wide Bruv?

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  11. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    oh christ, here comes redeye with his alcohol rants.

    dpf – try it. just once.

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  12. LiberalismIsASin (290 comments) says:

    Pete George at 4:13 “I wonder where alcohol will fit in there”

    Well said. The absolute most destructive drug there is. Funny though how you always here people say “Alcohol and drugs” as if alcohol isn’t a drug!!

    btw I’m not a teetotaller, just saying is all.

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  13. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    The problem with drug use is the decision to use is personalised, while the cost of adverse consequences is socialised.

    If someone wants to get completely whacked on whatever (incl alcohol) and is prepared to assume 100% of the cost of adverse consequences that I’m all for their choice.

    I don’t see drug liberalisation supporters asking to be given this responsibility, so I assume they simply keen for society to continue picking up the tab.

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  14. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    @annie:

    As an A&D physician I know once told me – you can tell when an addict is lying – their lips move.

    As someone who’s close to an addict, and works with many others within the prison system, I find that not only offensive, but stupid. If someone wants to go into A&D work they owe it to their patients to gain an accurate and unemotive understanding of the myriad of issues involved.

    What strikes me about many addicts is how much like you, me or anyone they are. Amny of those that lie would probably lie without the aid of drugs – they’re just manipulative scumbags. Others tell the truth when they say “I want to quit” but – just like, say, heavy smokers – they have absolutely no hope of doing so under their own steam, and need a mix of incentives (Quitlines etc) and disincentives (horrible ads about what it’s doing to their bodies), as well as the support of family, friends and professionals, to achieve the objective.

    Or is you A&D physician friend of the opinion that all smokers are liars too?

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  15. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    krazykiwi says:

    I don’t see drug liberalisation supporters asking to be given this responsibility, so I assume they simply keen for society to continue picking up the tab.

    Don’t confuse decriminalisation with liberalisation, Krazy. Speaking for myself, I want to change existing policies so as to have the best possible chance to get the greatest number of people off drugs, not make it easier for stoners to get high, make asses of themselves, and often annoy the hell out of me in the process.

    Of course there are others who want society to be free to get maggoted every day, demotivated and rendered stupid. And they’re not all in NORML, either… there’s a lot of money riding on keeping some drugs illegal while others are legal.

    As for the cost, then as redeye points out you need to offset it against the cost of law enforcement, imprisonment, the damage wrought by addicts chasing money to get their next fix, the public health costs of looking after them etc. Again I want to see a change so that they money is redirected, not necessarily increased (though that may be necessary in the short term). But an effective strategy would, be definition, decrease in cost over time – which is one measure that proves beyond doubt that our existing methods don’t work.

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  16. Pongo (372 comments) says:

    Being one of the few people who have never had a joint I think they should legalize the whole lot and tax it. Lets face it its easily available, most people dont have any serious problems with it, its controlled at the moment by criminals and half the justice system is tied up sorting it.
    Legalize all drugs, tax them to reflect their social cost and provide addiction services. Save the country a fortune and costs would lie with the consumers.
    No chance of anything happening under the Nats, they cant even charge the inflation rate on student loans. Useless buggars.

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  17. jaba (2,142 comments) says:

    my interest in drugs borders on zero. have not, do not and never will use illegal drugs .. thank goodness alcohol is still legal even though some would like to see that changed.
    A young lad (25 or so) blew himself up recently making P (at least it seems that way) and died. Have known him for 15 years or so.
    Anything that stops this appalling drug will get my support.

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  18. georgebolwing (854 comments) says:

    I am with Pongo.

    Most of the social harm from drugs comes from their illegal nature, not their chemical properties.

    Most importantly, they are expensive because of their legal status and this income goes to people who, by definition, are socially undesirable: those who like making large amouts of money selling addictaive, illegal products to addicts.

    Tax it, regulate it, but make it legal.

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  19. nasska (11,535 comments) says:

    One hundred percent behind Rex on this one. Often on Kiwiblog we see the figures of $90 to $100K as estimates of the cost of keeping someone in jail for a year. It costs money for the police to detect the offense, money for prosecution & defense & in some cases the cost of keeping the offenders dependents on benefits while he/she is incarcerated.

    Total this & it will buy quite a lot of rehabilitation &/or supervision.

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  20. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Cry me a river.

    First we get the bleat from that octopus headed idiot who once infested the Greens when he rammed through Parliament the daft Clean Slate Legislation that expunges convictions for so called “minor” offences after a period of seven years. Of course, in doing so, it meant that criminals did not have to face the consequences of their actions at a later date. No deterrent here.

    Now DPF says “Giving people a criminal record over a one time possession of small amounts of cannabis is silly, considering around half the adult population have smoked cannabis”… Sorry, DPF – I call bullshit on that.

    I have a simple solution…. don’t do anything illegal in the first place! Guess what? No convictions! No problem getting visas into countries such as the USA either. If you do something illegal, then take your medicine if you get caught!

    I happen to enjoy driving fast. I have a car that is capable of doing it and a track record (literally) that would suggest that I can also drive it OK. But, because its illegal to travel at speeds in excess of 100kph, if I speed down a motorway at 4am / no traffic and I get caught for doing 130kph, then I cannot bleat and try to get away with it by claiming that “half of New Zealand exceeds the speed limit” because I’m actually guilty of doing something illegal. Rather, I should shut up and face the consequences of doing so. The same applies with this suggestion.

    Smoke dope / get caught in possession? Face the consequences. If you don’t like the idea of the punishment for doing something illegal, then don’t do it in the first place.

    The pinko’s among us should learn something about personal responsibility and personal accountability, rather than bleat on and on about changing the Law because they happen to enjoy doing something that is illegal.

    What next? Will some idiot propose this is introduced in a manner that means it can apply retrospectively?

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  21. nasska (11,535 comments) says:

    Elaycee @ 6.02pm

    Very little criminal legislation is enacted retrospectively & in any case DPF’s suggestion relates to treatment rather than punishment. The drug user is not getting away scott free.

    If your problem is with simple possession of marijuana, that is very often dealt with by a warning by the Police even now.

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  22. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    “The pinko’s among us should learn something about personal responsibility and personal accountability, rather than bleat on and on about changing the Law because they happen to enjoy doing something that is illegal. ”

    The irony is that you’re saying they shouldn’t have that personal responsibility to choose what to do with their own bodies and accountability to accept the consequences of those actions, but should instead accept arbitrarily mandated consequences which don’t really have anything to do with the actions they are undertaking. You’re starting from the premise that the collective should have the right to impose on the individual’s autonomy outside that which arises from a strictly minimalist sense. So who’s more of a pinko from an ideological standpoint? Or are your beliefs just utterly confused and contradictory?

    And if you don’t think the costs of use will be internalised – given the current state of our political system the assumption is probably correct – then tax the drugs.

    “If you don’t like the idea of the punishment for doing something illegal, then don’t do it in the first place.”

    Furthermore, just because something’s illegal doesn’t mean that it is right that the government has declared it so and decided to intervene in a person’s autonomy. It should be well-justified. Can you do it on the basis of cost/benefit in this case?

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  23. wreck1080 (3,919 comments) says:

    Woohoo, legalise drugs.

    I like it.

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  24. James (1,338 comments) says:

    The worst drug in NZ by a mile is authoritarianism.People et hooked causing terrible damage to everyone.Look at Big Bruv…’a hopeless addict in denial about his habit.

    Legalise all drugs and hold people personally responsible for how they use them….its going to happen one day when sanity prevails…why wait? Drug use is a vice…not a crime.No ones rights are violated by someone putting into their own body a substance of their choice. Prohibition is impractical because its immoral… reality doesn’t allow contradictions to exist.

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  25. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @ nasska 6.32pm. My ‘problem’ as you call it, is not so much with the possession of any substance, but rather the inability of some to accept the consequences of doing something that our legislators have deemed to be illegal. If the Law is wrong, then vote for someone who can change it.

    But because I don’t agree with a particular Law, doesn’t mean that the Law is necessarily wrong. However, if I choose to break it, I have to accept the consequences if / when caught.

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  26. Jeff83 (745 comments) says:

    Would be a step in the right direction. Won’t happen though as the strongest consistent voting group, being people over 50, are traditionally conservative in this regard and illinformed of the relative risks.

    Our drug policy is not determined by anything to do with harm (otherwise alcohol would be illegal or alternative most drugs illegal would be legal) but rather a determination that most drugs are immoral for some reason.

    The question then becomes why are they immoral, and is it something the state should have a right to choose how its citizens behave for.

    Above will never happen, because rational people like Big Bruv, who I more than often agree with, see this issue so black and white there is no negotiation regarding it. Yet tobacco and alcohol are somehow ok, never quite get it personally.

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  27. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Elaycee:

    I have a simple solution…. don’t do anything illegal in the first place! Guess what? No convictions!… If you do something illegal, then take your medicine if you get caught!

    So says a proud member of the NZ sheeple, cowed into submission to government by decades of authoritarian rule, starting with Muldoon and culminating with his philosophical love child Helen Clark.

    Your faith in the omniscience of the successive cohorts of dickheads who populate our Parliaments is touching (aside from the ones who bring in laws with which you disagree… then they’re “Octopus headed idiots”… interesting schism in thinking there) but misplaced.

    DPF and others (myself included) aren’t suggesting you, or anyone else, shed a tear for those cauhgt breaking a law. They’re suggesting changing a stupid law, passed by idiots (you might have missed the fact that they were because they didn’t have “octopus heads”). See the difference?

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  28. simonway (387 comments) says:

    jaba: So you’d support legalising P, so that big businesses could manufacture it industrially, in safe settings, and sell it in the supermarkets for much cheaper than it’s available now (because there would be no “black market premium”; the much lower risk in manufacturing and selling would drive the price down)? Because that would stop people trying to cook it themselves and blow themselves up.

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  29. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @ Jivekitty 6.32pm. You suggest “The irony is that you’re saying they shouldn’t have that personal responsibility to choose what to do with their own bodies and accountability to accept the consequences of those actions, but should instead accept arbitrarily mandated consequences which don’t really have anything to do with the actions they are undertaking”.

    Not what I said at all – people can do what they like with their own bodies, but if they are doing something that is deemed to be illegal (by our legislators), they shouldn’t bleat if they are caught (and then claim they are really ‘right’ because ‘half of NZ does the same thing’). If they cannot handle the potential consequences, then don’t so it in the first place!

    Your “arbitrarily mandated consequences” are also called Laws of the Land and if you / I break them, then we should accept the same consequences. If we don’t like these Laws, then we lobby for change.

    But in the meantime, if we do the crime, we do the time.

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  30. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @ Rex Widerstrom 8.44pm. Jeez Rex – you write some tripe at times.

    Whilst I bow to your first hand knowledge of the calibre of MPs we have had during the time you were involved in the NZ political scene, I cannot accept that the Clean Slate Law introduced by the Greens was anything but an opportunity for the criminals convicted for their bad decisions during the Springbok Tour (plus other convicted for ‘minor’ drug offences), to get their criminal convictions expunged. As you may recall, this Legislation was passed as part of the coalition compromise between Labour and the Greens. I, for one, think this was appalling Legislation but its still there on the statutes.

    I have no problem confirming my support for the rule of Law. If I choose to break the Law, then I won’t bleat about it if I’m caught and, whilst I may pay any fine via clenched teeth, I accept that responsibility / actions = consequences / accountability.

    I shed no tears for people breaking the Law and claiming that, ‘because half of NZ does it, it must be OK’. None at all.

    Rex, because you believe that a particular Law is wrong, doesn’t make it a bad Law – just one you don’t like. But until its changed, then best suck it up.

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  31. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    I’m a bit confused by all this B/S one way or another.
    All the reports I’ve read over the past few years have pointed to cannabises effect on mental state and damage to body being negative.
    Cigarettes seems are worse healthwise/addiction wise but we don’t deal to them either, the law seems an ass in that regard.
    Why do we pay millions to doctors to treat cancer when they say smocking causes it?
    As for alcohol, people drink to excess and we serve them up a wet bus ticket, even laud and laugh about the excesses they intake let alone the anti social behaviour caused whilst people are drunk.
    But we don’t deal to it as the cause either, least of all getting drunk in public.
    If people weren’t allowed to get drunk in public the anti social behaviour wouldn’t exist.
    So why differentiate between cannabis and tobacco and drink like we do.
    ban the lot of them surely thats fair on risk?

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  32. penllynboy (8 comments) says:

    The ‘drug courts’ as outlined in the paper would be Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts.

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  33. reid (16,473 comments) says:

    What you need to do, somehow, is remove the drug money from the criminal fraternity.

    Focus on a plan to take that away.

    That should be the focus, not the public health aspects.

    That’s the real scourge on society, but we never look at that, we only ever look at the public health aspects.

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  34. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    “Not what I said at all – people can do what they like with their own bodies, but if they are doing something that is deemed to be illegal (by our legislators), they shouldn’t bleat if they are caught (and then claim they are really ‘right’ because ‘half of NZ does the same thing’). If they cannot handle the potential consequences, then don’t so it in the first place!”

    Well, it is pretty much what you said, but you also ignore the second part of my quote which is about your underlying premises. You start from the point that it is right that there is impingement on the liberties of the individual by the collective without any good justification merely because it is the law of the land. Why?

    In this case, I suspect it is because you disagree with drug use, but I doubt the attitude follows through in general terms – the law of the land could very well be anything Parliament deems and I suspect that at some point you too would not find a law to be worth following if it outraged your sensibility enough. In other words, at some point there is potentially a law that you would not “suck it up” and obey but rather actively disobey. Simply because something is the law of the land is justification for nothing.

    We should remember this:

    “… the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.” — John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, http://www.utilitarianism.com/ol/one.html

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  35. Mr A (17 comments) says:

    The move towards providing access to treatment has got to be a positive step. The best way to get rid of drug dealers, traffickers, P labs, and the criminal business element is to work to reduce demand. Reduce demand and there will be less economic reason to supply drugs. Punitive measures will not achieve anything and only serve to drive prices up due to risk, and increase the social connection between drug users and the dangerous criminals that provide them.

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  36. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Its called legalisation Mr A….after we end socialised medicine of course.

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  37. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @rex said

    “@annie:

    As an A&D physician I know once told me – you can tell when an addict is lying – their lips move.

    As someone who’s close to an addict, and works with many others within the prison system, I find that not only offensive, but stupid. If someone wants to go into A&D work they owe it to their patients to gain an accurate and unemotive understanding of the myriad of issues involved.”

    got to learn to quote this stuff

    Been around a number of addicts myself and the quote around you can tell when an addict is lying is a cynical statement frequently used as an admission (including by many addicts themselves) that it’s common to say they want to quit but mostly they don’t REALLY mean it enough to quit. Similarly, many addicts are amazing liars when it involves their addiction in terms of access to their drug of choice, or denial of the extent of the problem. Read any advice on addictions and you will invariably find information on lying and addicts. Admitting this and addressing it is seen as a large part of the addressing the problem.

    So get off the high horse – it’s not insulting or offensive it’s very realistic if a bit cynical.

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  38. Muzza M (291 comments) says:

    In my previous life I dished out methadone to about 60 “addicts”. They are with few exceptions the most dangerous liars I have ever met, dangerous because they believe thier own bullshit.

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  39. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @ Jivekitty 11.03pm.

    ” …you also ignore the second part of my quote which is about your underlying premises. You start from the point that it is right that there is impingement on the liberties of the individual by the collective without any good justification merely because it is the law of the land. Why?”

    If we all decide to disobey the rule of Law (as determined by the collective) because we don’t like a particular part of it, then we have a real problem, don’t we? Rules are in place to protect society. We have an organisation called the Police to help administer these same rules. This discussion has nothing to do with my views on drug use… rather, it is about the Law and its consequences – if we choose to break the rules.

    For my money, anyone who breaks the Law has to accept the consequences – if that means that ‘punishment’ for a particular set of circumstances is a fine / prison / community service, then so be it. If someone wants to take the risk and they break the Law, then they need to accept the consequences of their actions. Its called accountability. If they can’t accept (or handle) handle the potential consequences, then don’t break the Law in the first place.

    If you don’t like a particular Law, then vote for someone who shares your view and can change it (or stand yourself).

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  40. Bobbie black (507 comments) says:

    [DPF: Never tried]

    My advice DPF is don’t.

    It makes people much more horny and hungry.

    Just saying…hehe.

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  41. penllynboy (8 comments) says:

    http://www.drugcourts.co.nz

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  42. Manolo (13,783 comments) says:

    Surprise, surprise: NZ Police are against it.

    Police oppose drug law changes

    Police will not back a proposal for a three-strikes warning scheme for “social dealers” of class C drugs. The Law Commission issued a report yesterday on the 35-year-old drug laws, saying there was room for “a more flexible approach to small-scale dealing and personal drug use”, particularly when linked to addiction.

    Assistant police commissioner Grant Nicholls told the commission that police believed “social supply” may be difficult to accurately identify and it could be used to mask commercial drug dealing.

    “It may be difficult to identify if social dealing has actually occurred … and to prove that there is no profit or element of commerciality involved.” Police raised concerns about giving warnings for the use of class A or B drugs, which counted as “serious offending”.

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  43. Caleb (479 comments) says:

    Leaglise Dope, No dole for the loosers that smoke it.

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  44. Bobbie black (507 comments) says:

    Oh yeah…picking Kiwifruit in the raiin…cool job mannn.

    Look I found one…hey you sure this won’t hurt the plant man?

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  45. Bobbie black (507 comments) says:

    DPF, you sooo cool mannn.

    Hey, you know one of the effects man of smoking dope is loss of short-term memory mann?

    That’s heavy mann.

    Hey mann, don’t forget the General Discussion thread today mann.

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  46. Centreback (14 comments) says:

    An Infringement Notice for personal use makes a lot of sense and who cares what Oz and the US do, lets make our own mind up … For me alcohol has at least the same social impact if not more than Pot but very few cry out about that …. if alcohol had being made illegal at a similar time to Pot, I doubt it would be made legal today ….. common sense must prevail

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  47. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    If we are to afford rehabilitation for those on welfare, so they can work, then we have to invest in this rather than incarceration.

    Also moving away from wasting court time on minor possession charges will allow a more effective justice system. And it wil also ensure more likelihood of employment.

    People remaining users, and out of employment and at times kept at high cost in prison is the negative result from the current system. I think the police preference for prosecuting the users of marijuana and party pills etc is because they like to resort to this charge when other investigations lead nowhere … sometimes they probably think the person deserves a record because of what they are suspected of having done otherwise or because of their attitude … .

    If we are to reduce P use, we need to cut connections between dope users and party pill users and the criminal suppliers of P. that ultimately means a smarter way of dealing with dope and party pill users. Legalising party pills is an obvious first move – it reduces both binge drinking and dope use by young people. A second move is to advantage a non criminal supply of dope by allowing growing for personal use (and define how much can be grown at any one time and stored at any one time), this to break down major supply networks (those supplying dope and P etc) – though I ultimately prefer a licensed grower and supplier of dope system – this allows a ration card for distribution to manage use levels.

    The current system leaves us unable to afford either treatment or the consequent continuing high prison and welfare costs, it’s an epic fail and only a copper and the law is the law crowd would think otherwise.

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  48. questions (207 comments) says:

    Elaycee, in regards to your comments above on the issue of drugs, could you please tell us about smacking children? (or is that different? (if so don’t bore me with the hypocrisy))

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  49. thewayiseeit (6 comments) says:

    The way i see it is, the currant system has failed totally.

    The rate of use and damage associated with use has not come down at all in “the war on drugs”. This equals a gross failure and more evidence than ever to tackle it from another angle.

    People need to wake up and realize that the method is flawed and has failed our society.

    If anybody begs to differ i would like to see some evidence about how it has been a success?

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  50. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @questions 10.52am. If you had read my comments, you would have seen that my point is based solely on debunking the suggestion that, because “half of NZ does it [uses social drugs] anyone caught should not be prosecuted.”

    Anyone breaking the Law should accept the consequences and not start squealing if / when they are caught.

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  51. redeye (629 comments) says:

    I think you’ve completely missed the point Elaycee. This thread’s about changing the law, not breaking it. DFP seems to be saying it’s time for a law change because at least half the population have already broken that same law.

    Mind you, after you compared you speeding up and down the freeway risking other peoples lives to that of a stoner minding his own business I’m not really surprised.

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  52. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @redeye 1.42pm. DPF said “Giving people a criminal record over a one time possession of small amounts of cannabis is silly, considering arund half the adult population have smoked cannabis”. I said bullshit to the premise that, because half the population did something, then a criminal record should not be the logical conclusion. If you break the Law then you should also take any punishment on the chin.

    Unless, of course you are just one of the bleaters…

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  53. redeye (629 comments) says:

    How about the premise that if around half the population has broken a law and no other party has been affected then there is more than likely something wrong with that law?

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  54. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @ redeye – Its still breaking the Law.

    Now the Law may be a good one or a bad one – but it is still the Law. Apart from the instances already posted, there are other Laws that I consider daft – such as Easter Trading, Drinking Age, Blood Alcohol levels etc, but regardless they are still the Law unless they are changed by Parliament.

    You mentioned my speed limit comment – I’d guess (but I don’t have any stats) that half of NZ drivers have exceeded 100kph on the motorway at some stage. It still doesn’t make it a lawful act and I doubt my chances of getting off a charge by telling the Court that I was only doing what half of NZ does anyway.

    But if you could make that work, good on ya!

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  55. redeye (629 comments) says:

    Again the point seems to evade you but I’ve never been adverse to head banging on a wet day so…

    As you think your above mentioned laws are daft, how should people go about changing them?

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  56. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Redeye…. Jeez…. not a good day for you today?

    If you don’t like a Law, go vote for someone who shares your views. If enough of you have the same view, the Law will ultimately change (via Parliament). But until then…

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  57. MildGreens (5 comments) says:

    We have a responsibility to challenge bad law. And this is bad Law. Why would the Law Commission suggest repeal the Misuse of Drugs Act. The reformers were right again… (gulp)

    It is equally arguable irrespective what the odd individual opinion here is vis a vis, break the law and pay the price, what is not recognised is that the law (as it applies to the MoDAct) is premised on it being effective, efficient, equitable, and efficacious. It is none of these.

    As to legal regulation, we have a framework ALREADY in law (2008 amendment to the MODAct) for management of recreational soft drugs that acknowledges that the right to possess is a barren right without the right to purchase store cultivate or transport.

    The only two impediments to placing cannabis into that framework is hte now redundant (and dishonest) 2005 United Future amendment that prohibited putting drugs down the schedule (only up was permitted, despiute evidence based advice) and our blind adherence to the international conventions the Law Commission is at pains to say we have to comply… we are either a sovereignty or we are not. Drug laws are exacted under teh Warrant of teh Ministry of Health, not Police, Justice or anyone else… and we should not kowtow to US or UN special interests that are now responsible for mayhem on a global scale that makes apartheid look good.

    In that regard, the law commission report is a fraud… on everyone.

    We cannot continue this ‘drug by drug’ policy making when hte market is cpmodified, fungible, Friedman economic model that defies prohibitory governance. We did the hard work back in the 1990’s when the National Drug Policy formulation documents treated ALCOHOL as a drug inseparable from ALL other drugs, licit, illicit, diverted or emerging… that was teh required (and best practice ) principled approach but vested interests separated the policy base. Alcohol was looked at first and rugs were delayed until it was nearly forgotten about.

    To fix alcohol we have to first fix cannabis. TO fix BZP (which would have struggled to gain any popularity) or these ‘fearsome emerging drug threats, read: moral panics, that are largely no threat AT ALL, we have to first fix cannabis. And to open the dialog on best practice and remove the brazen prejudice that so stymies reason… we must fix the cannabis anomalies. It is the neighbouring intoxicant to so many other options that left in Class C we are entrenching failure….

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  58. big bruv (13,906 comments) says:

    ” we must fix the cannabis anomalies.”

    I agree, let’s introduce Asian drug laws, you deal in drugs you die at the hands of a firing squad.

    End of problem.

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  59. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @MildGreens 5.13pm.

    Like it or not, the Law is the Law is the Law. If you don’t like it, then lobby an MP / go about getting the Law changed. But until then….

    Just saw BB’s comment 5.20pm. Agree 100%.
    A spend of 15c / a seat on the sand coupled with a visit from Ms Remington and the likelihood of repeat offending goes out with the tide.

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