I was watching the end of a current affairs program.. the topic was the NY city policing policy of ‘stop & frisk’ & how it seems to target ‘people of colour’. The story mentions that a big part of it, was about keeping large areas around schools; ‘DRUG-free zones’.
The main issue being keeping ‘drug dealers’ out of these areas & away from schools (to keep illegal drugs away from youth).
Well.. I’ve often thought the best option would be to look at the opposite view; Prohibition-free zones; these ‘zones’ could be clearly marked & allow cannabis social clubs & ‘dutch style’ coffeeshops to operate (ADULTS ONLY – R18). The main idea being youth (under 18) would be kept clear from these areas.
This idea could; kill two birds with one stone : controlled/regulated areas, where cannabis mainly, can be consumed & traded under strict regulation/rules. Anyone dealing or OPENLY consuming outside these zones, would still be liable to some form of prosecution (fines or maybe criminal sanction).
Here in Aotearoa/NZ there is still a zero-tolerance approach to all drugs (except alcohol & tobacco) but this is obviously failing to achieve the supposed outcomes.. we have amongst the highest levels of use & arrest (per capita) in the world, according to U.N. statistics reports !
Clearly it is time.. to look outside the box. To alternatives to the status quo (FAILURE)