I lived in Australia for about 20 years & returned to Aotearoa/NZ about 12 years ago. In Aust. they call it ‘Meth’ or ‘Ice’.. but its real name is Methamphetamine. NZ had adopted the expression ‘Pure Meth’ OR ‘P’ for short. BUT this name has taken on all the same negative stereotypical demonisation & misinformation/B-S as ‘Reefer madness & Marijuana’ !
I just listened to replay of an interview from Radio NZ (RNZ) with a visiting ‘expert’ & author from Australia (guest of the NZ Drug Foundation) who is at the forefront of moving from prohibition to treatment/rehab. In Sydney/Aust. they have heroin injecting rooms & are now adding Meth/P using rooms too. The focus being on, having people on site to deal with problem use & keep these people out of, already overcrowded, hospital A&E depts.
The interviewer was either ‘playing devil’s advocate’ OR is genuinely opposed to such reforms. She stated: (paraphrased)
1) because about 20% of Meth/P users become seriously addicted, then this PROVES that there is a real problem/issue. She even suggested that prohibition/status quo IS the way to deal with it.
2) taking the ‘softly, softly’ approach is effectively giving the ‘Green light’ to legalising ‘DRUG use’
3) the best way to deal with Meth/P is ‘Just say NO !!”
4) not all drugs are the same & cannot be dealt with, with the same kind of approach
The answers being: (paraphrased)
5) 20% of users becoming addicts does not prove that all users have problems with the drug. Similar to cannabis.. a small number is being held up as PROOF of all the negative B-S being put forward by the prohibitionists etc. They ignore the 80% who use the drug without these ‘over-exaggerated’ Problems/issues
6) he is not promoting ‘illegal drug use’ BUT does not believe the status quo is working & it is time to look at/take an alternative approach
7) prohibition just promotes black-markets & most of the negative issues. In countries that still promote the status quo, use rates are on the increase & NOT in decline
8) even senior Police, are now admitting that prohibition is failing to reduce ‘Drug-related Harm’
9) he held-up Germany as the example.. they now have many ‘drug use rooms’ & have moved away from zero-tolerance. Their use rates are decreasing & problem users/addicts are getting access to treatment/rehab. NOT just; arrest, prosecute & punish
10) he mentioned Japan; that still strongly promotes Prohibition. He stated that Meth/P use has massively increased in recent years !
** It is time that Aotearoa/NZ & the rest of the world ‘sat up & took notice’ of these people who are promoting alternatives, to the status quo.. sez I&I
“We’re standing up for LIBERTY & Freedom from Prohibition” 🙂
To listen to the interview, click the link: