I just watched a NZ current affairs program ‘Story’.. more talk about illegal DRUGS; they were comparing drug policy in a few countries: Singapore, Portugal & Aotearoa/NZ:
1) Singapore takes a totalitarian zero-tolerance approach, with the death penalty for drug dealing (over certain levels). They said Singapore has apparently very low levels of illegal drug use, but it has been achieved by instilling absolute fear into the people. Do we really want this approach ?
2) Portugal had a high level of Heroin use.. they recently ‘decriminalised; ALL drugs & they found that Heroin use has halved. They now put their efforts into treatment.
3) Aotearoa/NZ also has an effective prohibitionist zero-tolerance approach, but it is not as strictly enforced as places like Singapore etc. BUT NZ has amongst the highest levels of cannabis use & ‘meth/P’ is on the rise. The drug trade is totally black-market run by organised crime/gangsters.
There is talk of NZ moving away from Zero-tolerance (in light of UNGASS & other issues) One of the hosts said if she had her way, cannabis would be legal & taxed (sold in shops, similar to Colorado & Amsterdam etc.) & promoted as a tourist destination ‘to get high’… BUT with this current right-wing Govt. in power that will not happen anytime soon ! 😦