I watched the debate of, the second reading of the; Substance addiction (compulsory assessment & treatment) bill today, before NZ parliament. This is designed to replace the current outdated legislation from 1966. The law if/when enacted will potentially create up to 200 places a year for ‘court ordered addiction treatment’. They mentioned the recent setup of ‘drug courts’ & how the emphasis is supposedly moving away from punishment to treatment. Until recently, I believe the majority of state treatment, was only available to convicted prisoners (in jail) ?
They talked about respecting human rights & taking a health approach to dealing with ‘severe alcohol & drug addiction’ as per several recommendation by NZ Law commission & Drug Foundation etc.. The law will apparently order people to be assessed for suitability, then placed into 8 weeks, cold turkey treatment. They didn’t mention whether the people would be subjected to a criminal sanction too ?
All through this debate I just kept thinking what a total ‘double standard’ they are presenting, when this Govt. can see the moves occurring in other OECD countries to decriminalise adults drug use, in varying degrees, from cannabis use & licensed cultivation (Colorado etc.) to Portugal which has decriminalised all drug use… but NZ law-makers totally refuse to even rationally discuss such reforms here, even for medicinal use.
This Govt. seem to be taking really extremist/zero-tolerance approaches to ‘DRUGS’. They seem to still think that the Drug war or forced treatment is the way to deal with drug issues. My concern is, will this sort of legislation be further extended for all ‘drug offenders’ who are arrested (even for possession of cannabis, personal use) to be given the choice “Jail or compulsory treatment ?!”
I thought this was Aotearoa/NZ.. BUT under this right-wing Govt. the NZ, seems more like NaZi.