zero tolerance

I have looked into the issues around the Drug war & possible reform.. the one thing I find the biggest hurdle: ZERO-tolerance;

1) during alcohol prohibition in USA (1920s-33) they rarely ever arrested folks for consuming the drug. They only prosecuted manufacturers & suppliers, according to most reports

2) the first BROAD drug law in Aotearoa/NZ was; the Dangerous Drugs act 1927, (similar to UK laws) but it was still, only concerned with manufacture/supply

3) the USA ‘Marihuana tax act 1937’, was not actually a prohibition law, but a very prohibitive ‘Tax act’. You could grow, prepare, supply & use the plant, if you paid the HUGE taxes, levied.. if the ‘authorities’ actually issue the license

4) the UN single convention on Narcotic Drug 1961, actually states clearly that medicinal & scientific uses, should be preserved & available

5) the USA Federal law classifies cannabis, alongside; Heroin & Cocaine, as a ‘Schedule #1 Narcotic’.. supposedly of ‘NO known medicinal use’ & ‘most open to abuse‘. Of course many have said the first part, is totally wrong, there is clear evidence, that cannabis can be used to treat neurological conditions; MS, Epilepsy & many other illness/conditions

6) the Misuse of Drugs act 1975 (similar to UK laws) classifies Cannabis as ‘Class C’ (least harmful, but illegal) drug. It has exemptions under section 8 for medicinal uses.. but raw, leaf/bud cannabis is not classified as ‘approved medicine’ under the ‘Medicines act’. I think doctors can only prescribe such ‘drugs’ eg Sativex (GW Pharma. UK)

7) the MODA 75, (still current) does not seem to demand Zero-Tolerance to the drugs/plants in the schedules ‘A-D’ but A,B & C were effectively implemented that way. There are very few laws, that a Police officer, can implement a ‘warrantless search’ BUT under MODA 75 they can.. as long as there is ‘clear evidence’ (“I can smell cannabis”) that the law is being broken !

8) This has led most kiwis & other to believe that OUR laws are effectively ZERO-Tolerance to these DRUGS, in their implementation; with all just deemed ‘ILLEGAL’ & often Police don’t seem concerned about the A-C class rating. Often seems that Cannabis is still top of their priority list, as ‘public enemy #1’

9) many other OECD countries are moving away from this, but at a state or province level only. Uruguay, Portugal, Israel & soon.. Canada have gone to legal use at a National level. USA, Australia, Germany etc. are at the state, province level only.. on Cannabis & other widely named ‘illegal drugs’

* by actual International Law.. the UN convention 61 still stands, BUT as I say, it does not actually demand ‘ZERO-tolerance’. It even has a clause that talks about ‘allowing use under legal authority‘ which could mean ‘local bylaws’
** So why is Aotearoa/NZ still just about, under effective, ZERO-tolerance approach to DRUGS ? follow the money & the jobs
*** the other issues; ignorance & apathy.. estimates are that 70%+ of adults have tried ‘illegal drugs’ mostly cannabis, but less than 20% use on an ongoing basis.. adds to the ‘official narrative’ that there is not, enough support for radical reforms. 😦

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