Our politicians won’t do it, so the Drug Foundation did: A model drug law for New Zealand
The Spinoff 5 July 2017
Family First Comment:
• “All currently illegal drugs would be decriminalised. If police find a person in possession of drugs, they would issue a ‘mandatory caution’ which includes health information and legal advice. After one, two or three cautions (depending on the drug), the person would be required to attend a brief intervention session to assess whether further health assessment and treatment is needed. “
• “People would be able to grow enough cannabis for their own needs at home.”
• “Fear of criminal punishment does not stop people using drugs. In fact, it can make them use more heavily.” FALSE
Based on these comments, we should decriminalise burglary.
New Zealand’s drug law is causing more harm than good. The New Zealand Drug Foundation has proposed a replacement that would decriminalise all drugs, and create a regulated cannabis market. Executive director Ross Bell outlines the foundation’s model drug law.
New Zealand once led the world in social change, but we’ve really slipped behind when it comes to tackling our drug problem. We once again need to bring together the determination and smarts that led to suffragettes winning the vote for women in 1893 and the demand for gay marriage gave way to legalisation in 2013. Now is the time to update our obsolete dug law.
The Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is over 40 years old. It doesn’t work and it is causing long term harm to New Zealanders. It sets out harsh criminal penalties for possession and use of drugs in an attempt to stop people taking them. It doesn’t work, and we need to urgently do something differently.
While many of our politicians bury their heads in the sand, our drug laws are hurting the people they are supposed to protect. Meanwhile we continue to neglect the investment in prevention and treatment that users need.
Even though we convict thousands of people each year for using drugs, we still have some of the highest use rates in the world. Our laws prevent people accessing help when they need it, and they leave thousands every year with a criminal record that damages their future.
It’s a simple fix. We need to repeal the Misuse of Drugs Act and replace it with a new Act that treats drug use as a health issue, not a criminal issue. We need to invest in the potential of our young people instead of burdening their future. We need to equip police to better prevent crime. We need to empower our communities to look after those with drug use disorders.
READ MORE: https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/drug-foundation/05-07-2017/our-politicians-wont-do-it-so-the-drug-foundation-did-a-model-drug-law-for-new-Zealand/