I’ve again been pondering a few issues around drug law & prohibition here in Aotearoa/NZ & can only surmise that we live in ‘Strange days indeed’ :
1) Aotearoa/NZ has amongst the highest levels of Cannabis use per capita in the world according to UN report (under a zero-tolerance/prohibition rules regime) in the group with Aust. & USA
2) Also amongst the highest arrest rates per capita.. with no real end in sight. BUT Aust. USA & many western nations are moving away from zero-tolerance to decrim./legalise & clinical trials of Medicinal cannabis. Aotearoa/NZ is apparently ‘awaiting outcomes’ (just in case the sky does actually fall !), but just squarely sitting on the fence & getting a very sore behind in the interim !
3) In recent polls over 80% of respondents support medicinal use of ‘natural cannabis’ & over 50% support recreational use; either legalise or decrim. BUT the country has just re-elected the party to Govt. that has publicly stated, they do not support any changes to drug laws. Can it be that ‘Joe/Jo Kiwi’ is just apathetic about this ?
I wonder what would happen if they decided to prohibit or strictly control Alcohol in a similar way ?
4) The current policies around cannabis are effectively around : arrest, prosecute & punish ($500 fine &/or up to 3 months in jail, just for possession for personal use). Many politicians have stated that prohibition is failing to achieve its stated objectives (to eliminate drug harm/use) & yet most just run scared from any serious debate, other than ‘more of the same’ & keeping the blinkers on.
I can only guess that there are still very powerful groups in Aotearoa/NZ that are benefiting (financially & otherwise) from prohibition & will do anything/everything to maintain it.. at any cost to the rest of society !
Interestingly Aotearoa/NZ has been placed near the top of the list of ‘least corrupt’ countries.. OR is it just being covered up the most ?
The outcome of our recent election showed that over 30% of eligible voters did not bother.. apparently many just don’t identify with the ‘mainstream parties’ (or maybe their ‘social justice’ agendas) ?!