I’ve been trying to sum up my views.. rather than just have a broad ‘law reform’ agenda.. Aotearoa/NZ has really moved to the back of the law reform pack & actually look closer to the strict ‘non-western’ drug policy . I wont say like Indonesia (death penalty), BUT definitely more like Japan or China (we are close in proximity & trade). Almost tolerant, internally BUT outwardly ‘ZERO-Tolerance’.
It’s interesting how entrenched the Prohibitionist views are held tight here. I look at changes occurring in USA, Canada, EU, Sth America & even countries like India that turn a real blind eye to personal use. Meanwhile our Police will arrest everyone (dealers, users, or even for ‘utensils’), unless it’s a day when they have already filled their arrest quota & a warning will suffice (middle-aged, person with joint/back pain)
I watched a segment in the Doco. ‘Druglawed’ that; a document/Govt. paper passed through a NZ parliamentary select committee in early 2000s (J Shipley PM) that was seriously considering nationwide ‘decriminalisation’ of cannabis. Then suddenly a senior FBI agent arrived (from USA) in Aotearoa/NZ for an impromptu meeting with said PM.. after this agent returned to USA, the bill was quashed & the WAR on Drugs was ‘officially’ reinstated, with greater ZEAL than ever. Meanwhile in 2012 Colorado has effectively ‘Legally regulated’ medicinal & personal use of cannabis.. 25 states allow raw herb to be prescribed & other products containing cannabis to be bought & sold openly for the medicinal/therapeutic properties.. NZ has none of this.. we have sativex.. from GW Pharma at $1200/month per patient (please don’t laugh.. it’s NOT funny). The USA are demanding other countries maintain their WAR on Drugs, yet they openly flaunt it. Their DEA still has cannabis as a schedule #1 NARCOTIC.. (supposedly ‘narcotics’ are opiates only; British Medical journal) & yet they allow the weed to be legally bought & sold as a RECREATIONAL drug/NARCOTIC (their words NOT mine)
I spent several days in 2002 visiting Holland.. specifically Amsterdam & visited the Van Gogh art museum, Madam Tussaud’s ‘other’ wax works & oh yes the coffeeshops & other cannabis exhibits.. Interesting indeed; Holland has had a ‘turn a blind eye approach’ to personal use of cannabis since late 1970s. Its ‘officially’ ILLEGAL to: cultivate commercially, transport to point of sale OR sell to a coffeeshop owner.. BUT once in the Coffeeshops, police turn a blind eye to adults drinking coffee & buying/using up to 5 grams of raw herb or taking away (about 30-40 euros ?, from their menu).
I spent 6 weeks travelling in India & Nepal in about 2000.. possibly ‘enuf sed’. I travelled on a tour group from Mumbai (Bombay) to the Indian Border.. then caught the ‘Bus to Kathmandu’. The official line of the tour agency was ‘no open drug use’.. & a couple of folks highlighted this & me to the tour leader (I did not smoke in front of them.. but did not hide the issue). BUT when we arrived in Jaislmir (close to Pakistan) we all attended the ‘Govt. authorised BHANG shop’ & sipped the ‘Bhang Lassi’ drinks.
When we arrived in Kathmandu, second last day of tour. We went to a restaurant where the waiter asked us all, if we wanted any ‘herb’ with dinner.
I spent a couple of weeks travelling in Nepal after the tour & never had a problem obtaining CHEAP budz.
I hear that Portugal, Spain, Uruguay & others ‘South of the border’ now have anti-prohibitionist/REGULATION laws for cannabis; allow its legal regulated use. I even hear that North Korea, does not consider cannabis as an illegal substance. Hemp is still likely grown there ! Russia has always allowed Hemp & I hear budz are not really ‘an issue’ either.
Yet in Aotearoa/NZ the weed drought goes on.. the RNZAF (military) helicopters still scout out cannabis patches for LAW ENFORCEMENT.. (new Americanism) & the ‘frontline cops’ swoop in on their latest ‘seek & destroy’ mission. Not quite as offensive as Indonesia murdering ‘drug offenders’ OR gangs of state sponsored NAZIs roaming the streets of Manila shooting ‘druggies’ (as I hear the new Pres. has ‘authorised’). I don’t think that NZ prisons are bursting as badly as in these Asian nations.. BUT we are not that far behind. NZ supposedly often appears at the top end of drug use/ARREST stats in UNODC reports.
I heard at the recent UNGASS in New York that Aotearoa/NZ was one country that spoke about support for reform.. yet here it was just a ‘passing news item’ & nothing has changed. I also hear that ex-NZ PM (now UN #3) asked our minister at UNGASS ‘What is NZ doing ?” he apparently just ‘humm’d & ahh’d’
SO.. what do I really want: exactly what my blog title says. BUT also an end to USA demanding we have prohibition, but allowing their STATES only to legally regulate the drug. I want a bit of what you others also have: coffeeshops, smoking clubs, BUT also; policing of the ‘RULES’/regulation eg no selling to ‘minors’.
I want to see schools teaching TRUTHs about all drugs to teenagers & all others NOT just B-S. At high school all I heard was “Just say NO !”
BUT my first priority is: ALLOW TERMINALLY ILL PATIENTS IN AOTEAROA/NZ to be exempted from arrest for medicinal/therapeutic use of cannabis. (Exemption card from Ministry of Health, that overrules ‘Police authority’)
“Kia ora koutou, Whanau o Kanabosm” 🙂
As a side issue, I also believe that ‘ALL Drug users’ should be exempted from arrest & diverted to treatment, only IF their use is problematic (outside defined regulation.. the RULES)