I just watched a current affairs item, about issues around testing the chemical components in Ecstasy tabs etc. some issues raised:
1) These drugs/compounds are still, ALL currently illegal, under the current laws (42 years old; Misuse of Drugs act 1975)
2) There is a company who have previously used chemical tests, to confirm whether the ‘little pill’ (purchased on black-market) actually contains MDMA or other chemicals. The NZ Drug foundation, now have a machine that gives a breakdown of contents. They take the testing equipment to, music festivals etc. to allow users, to have their drugs tested. They stated that over 30% of pills tested, were NOT MDMA, or the drug they thought they had purchased. This has actually prevented harm; they did not consume the drug. When once many of these people often ended up in hospital with negative reactions.
3) This is causing ‘issues’ around the whole legal status of ‘DRUGS’. This is now increasingly, being seen more as a Health issues, rather than the outdated, black/white status of legal or illegal..
4) This has put Police in a difficult situation, were once they did just see this as a black & white issue; arrest/prosecute all who are using ‘illegal drugs’.
5) Is it time that the outdated law was replaced ? Start accepting the reality, that people do use other drugs (besides Alcohol/Tobacco)
Then followed by an interview with the minister (resp. Drug policy):
6) The minister said that the latest/updated ‘National drug policy’ is moving away from using LAW ENFORCEMENT only, to deal with ‘Drug users/offenders’, toward seeing it as a Health issue.
7) He said that the current law is under review (over the next 2-3 years ?) BUT he hesitated to confirm any plans to ‘decriminalise’ cannabis or any other ‘illegal drugs’.
8) He stated that the current Govt. are still very ‘conservative’ in their views on ILLEGAL DRUGS & possible reforms & are unlikely to shift on this, anytime soon.
9) He did seem to recognise, that prosecution for possession is more harmful to the individual, than the use of cannabis & MDMA. Often resulting if loss of job prospects & travel restrictions etc.
10) A panel of ‘experts’ discussed the issues & all said that; the current law is outdated & it really IS time for change. The problem being the hysteria/fear, that law reform will cause chaos, in our society