INDEPENDENT NEWS

Blair Anderson: the ABC of Criminal Classification

Published: Mon 17 Mar 2008 08:24 AM
Blair Anderson on the ABC of Criminal Classification
BZP had been usefully classified as Class D, an innovation in and of itself. It is a 'controlled and legally regulated' extension to the worldwide concept of ABC 'criminal classification'.
When Jim Anderton announced this Class-D initiative on "Good Friday" 2004 it was seen as a pragmatic response and while United Future subsequently regaled at the notion that it would be perfect place to 're-regulate' Cannabis (as heard at select committee) its principle purpose when proposed was to provide a 'better solution' to the vexing question of where Alcohol and Tobacco should fit in the National Drug Policy framework.
For a nation, indeed the only western democracy in the world behoving to "thou shalt not talk about cannabis in this term of parliament" - United Future broke its own rules and moved to ensure that drugs could only be put UP in class, not down. So much for evidence, a goal of the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) when the Minister of Health Hon Annette King, said "it should take politics out of drug policy". When the EACD was 'stacked' with prohibition stakeholders like Customs the minority 'drug practitioners' from the health and harm reduction sector were marginalised.
No good will come of any of this until the Law Commission has had its unfettered inquiry into drug policy. None of which ever gets a mention in the media.
BZP is not a good drug but then nor is alcohol but until we have the required conversation and civil society addresses itself to this issue we will continue to talk round in circles and fix diddly.
The first thing to understand is this. Methamphetamine, Alcohol and BZP prevalence in New Zealand is a PRODUCT of poor drug policy. This is true at both ends of the harms scale and for all points in between. We are, in our legislative response to drugs, our own worst enemy.
Blair Anderson
Social Ecologist 'at large'
http://mildgreens.blogspot.com
http://blairformayor.blogspot.com
http://blair4mayor.com
ENDS

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