Drug policy changes?

The Herald reports:

How severely people are dealt with for possession of illegal or drug utensils is to be reviewed.

Officials will focus on whether action is proportionate to how much harm an offence causes.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has released the 2015-20 National Drug Policy, which could significantly reform the treatment of drugs such as cannabis.

Mr Dunne said three words – compassion, innovation and proportion – were of the utmost importance when developing drug policy.

The policy has been hailed as hugely significant by the NZ Drug Foundation, which says it signals an armistice in the “war on drugs”.

If so this is a good thing. I think drug policy should distinguish between drugs with relatively little harmful side effects like cannabis, and those which can cause huge harm such as P.

Speaking at the launch of the policy, Mr Dunne said the Ministry of Health would work with the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs to make sure that drug classification decisions were focused on harm.

The focus should be on harm reduction. Sometimes this will mean the criminal justice system, but sometimes it won’t.

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