Whilst many OECD countries have recently started to address the issues around the Failed Drug war (esp. cannabis); here in Aotearoa/NZ these issues are being mostly ignored by ‘power brokers’.. this is very clear in issues around ‘synthetics’:
1) in 1975 the NZ parliament, as response to ‘International treaties’ & similar matters in other countries, passed the ‘MISUSE of DRUGS act’. This legislation laid the ground rules for cultivation, preparation, manufacture & USE, of what we’re generically called ‘Narcotics’. Whilst some of these substances are legally available, as pharmaceutical products eg. Morphine, most were effectively outlawed/banned. The Act uses criminality as a means of ‘dealing with/to’ the majority of ‘offenders’ who break these laws. The resulting outcomes being; a criminal conviction & fines, community service or Prison, depending on the seriousness of the charges. This is the basis of the ‘WAR on DRUGS’ in Aotearoa/NZ
2) there has been many attempts to amend the laws, most have failed to get any traction to date
3) in 2006 the Green party passed an amendment to the MODA 1975, that strictly regulated the cultivation of ‘Industrial Hemp‘
4) in 2011, the NZ Law Commission issued its report, into the current MODA. It called for substantive reforms, inc. legal regulation of Cannabis
5) in 2013, the Govt. passed the Psychoactive substances act, which was said to regulate SYNTHETICS & ‘legal highs’ BUT excluded ALL drugs currently outlawed in the MODA
6) over the last decade, NZ has figured in the UNODC reports on high levels of Illicit drug Use. This is mainly because, other countries are now regulating/decrim. these Drugs. Aotearoa/NZ is NOT.. the illegality attracts, rebellious youth to experiment/use
7) in many other OECD countries, they are seeing reduction in drug use, as happened in Holland in 1970s. This is mainly due to lifting the ‘Forbidden Fruit mystique’. NZ Power brokers still refuse, to follow suit; WHY ?
8) in recent times we in NZ, hear; law reform will see increase in use (opposite of what occurs overseas), increase in crime (mostly caused by Prohibition) & there is a further ‘Demonisation of cannabis’ when they call these chemical poisons, sprayed on mixed herbs; ‘Synthetic Cannabis’ (when in fact almost none contain any THC/CBD or other recognised ‘cannabinoids’
9) there are voices (inc. I) saying ‘IF they had allowed natural herb/cannabis to be regulated in 2013.. Synthetics would likely, only be a footnote in this matter’ BUT the minister stated they are ‘Low Risk’ & the natural plant is likely NOT.. so for a while, they became ‘the legal drug of choice’ for many, who thought it was a better way ‘to get high’ without risk of arrest OR loss of employment or unemployment benefits etc.
10) in the last few years; several polls have shown that about 80-90% support further reforms of Cannabis laws for medicinal/therapeutic use & about 60-70% support allowing some level of recreational use (R18+ etc.).. BUT the current Govt. just say ‘NO’ & even say, that there is not enough support or clear EVIDENCE that law reform will reduce harm. They are IGNORING the Realities; that ARE occurring overseas.
* SO who are the REAL criminals here ?