INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt cannabis response loathsome & mealy-mouthed

Published: Mon 3 Nov 2003 09:10 AM
Govt’s cannabis response ‘loathsome and mealy-mouthed’
Mild Greens say that government ministers, instead of receiving fat and unearned pay increases, deserve to be tried and condemned for perpetuating human rights abuses as a matter of policy.
Ass. Health Minister Jim Anderton’s formal response to the Health Select Committee cannabis inquiry is typically shallow and manipulative. It sends a crude message to young NZers in particular that our leaders are still fobber-offers, bullies and hypocrites, pretending there is no issue with 300,000 being falsely accused as criminals.”
Anderton, in downplaying any need to look further at law reform (as recommended 3 months ago), states that govt. has taken the lead in education programmes to alert young people to the dangers of cannabis use.
Seemingly long forgotten, however, is the 1998 Parliament's crucial recognition that the double standards surrounding marijuana [viz. alcohol and tobacco] are an impediment to effective, credible anti-drug education.
“Prohibition has not been shown to be safe, precautionary nor credible - nor effective, appropriate, nor reasonable – nor mandated.”
Moreover, the persecution regime fails all ethical and quality standards under the Government's official Harm Minimisation criteria (principles which include cost effectiveness, equity, harm-reduction, and 'upholding individual rights where these do not unreasonably impinge on others'…)
But Labour Party ministers, conspicuously silent about their still unresolved 1998 commitment to responsibly review the legal status, are hedging on minnow-progressive-leader Anderton's ‘views’ as the de-facto policy standard by which we measure good community outcomes.
"So much for evidence-based best-practice harm minimisation - and so much for good governance".
The Mild Greens say politicians whose own political parties score well below 5% of the general election vote should be banned from saying the word “mandate”.
"And is important to note that Jim Anderton is not exactly a success story when it comes to kids nd drugs, mental illness, suicide etc."
Mr. Anderton, more than most New Zealanders should know the ultimate harms that can befall families under the prohibition, but the same failed and non-credible regime is all he has to offer other New Zealanders.
Any young NZ'er who does a school project on cannabis policy in NZ will discover very quickly that there is a track record of Government and other community leaders pretending that criminalising is righteous, despite all the evidence demonstrating the Law is held in contempt as a stupid, unjust and costly crime-creating failure. (No doubt the teacher will require that the student rewrite the report to ‘focus on the harms of cannabis’…)
Mild Greens recommend that adults should continue to use marijuana as safely as possible under the circumstances (e.g. by eating or vaporising), and tell the police in no uncertain terms to ‘butt out and go solve some real crime’ if hassled.
“Standing up for what we believe works for us.”
According to the reformers, conscientious objection to the policy crock & subversion-of-democratic-process is an entirely plausible defence for justifying cannabis cultivation and use, under the Bill of Rights Act 1990 (freedom of religion/ manifestation of ethical belief).
”New Zealanders are entitled to a harm reduction context and legal age limit CONSISTENT with alcohol and tobacco, as heard by the Health Select Committee up and down the country in 2001, and in line with the 27-year Dutch precedent for a non-coercive and tolerant approach.”
N.B. The Annual Mild Greens “toilet brush” award goes to former Health Select Committee chair and ex-Otaki MP. Judy Keall, who having heard evidence which by her own admission convinced her ‘all drugs should be legalised’ turned around and ensured that her committee was too busy and disorganised to write up the truth they witnessed at the 2001 inquiry hearings...

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