Damien Grant writes:
One of what I consider to be the most irresponsible pieces of journalism in this country occurred in 2014 when John Campbell led then Minister Peter Dunne around Naenae to witness the harm done by the sale of synthetic cannabis.
And indeed, Campbell was right. Some kids were getting very sick as a result of taking a commercially manufactured product made by competent and regulated providers.
Dunne, who now appears to support cannabis legislation, rushed through a legislative change to ban the manufacture of these products.
Well done to all concerned. The legitimate manufactures left the industry, and the back-yard cooks rushed to fill the vacuum. According to the coroner between 40 and 45 people died in the last year as a result.
Unintended consequences strikes again. And 45 people have died.
Meanwhile, our Prime Minister, basking in the glory of the international media, thumbed her nose at the American plan to expand the decades-long failure that is the War on Drugs, preferring a ‘health approach’ to the issue.
Excellent. Perhaps she can have a chat with her Health Minister David Clark who wants to re-classify synthetic cannabis as a class A drug.
The minister boldly declared; “These drugs are killing people. We have health, police, customs and corrections all working closely on this”.
Nice. Except it will fail because prohibition always fails.
Treating synthetic cannabis as the same as heroin is not a “health approach”.
If a drug is legal, someone like Pfizer will make it. Your children will take it. They will get sick, but in the morning you can collect them from the hospital rather than the morgue.
When they become illegal respectable firms leave the industry, and unscrupulous and incompetent cooks produce batches of illicit poison.
An astute analysis.