Frogblog has an amusing look at the widespread blog support for taking the Law Commission’s discussion paper on drug law reform slightly more seriously than National Justice Minister Simon “I’m very busy” Power. Amusing because of the convergence of views from the right and left.
On the “Mr Power, you’re doing a mighty fine job” side we have……Family First:
The government is to be congratulated for sending a strong unequivocal message against liberalizing drug laws.
The good news is, we can bring to Mr Power’s attention how unpopular his kneejerk reaction really is for most New Zealanders, by participating in online discussions or making a submission to the Law Commission by 30 April.
The other good news is, the Drug Foundation are committed to informing and discussing the options on the table with the public, because they say our current law is obsolete. As Director Ross Bell says over at Pundit:
No wonder the Act isn’t fit for purpose in the 21st century, it’s 35 years old! Drugs have changed, New Zealanders’ appetite for drugs has changed, and our knowledge about the most effective ways to reduce drug harm has advanced.
The Commission’s options include: a formal cautioning scheme, infringement scheme, or a hybrid of both. Full details about these options are outlined in the report, so I won’t detail them here; I suspect you all have a fair idea about how these schemes work.
I think the important point to note here is that these options operate within a prohibition framework – they don’t legalise nor decriminalise drugs. That’s important to remember, because all of the Commission’s considerations were required – by its Terms of Reference -to conform with our obligations under international drug treaties (there’s a whole conversation to be had on that topic).
Hardly the stuff of pushers on corners, recruiting children into lives of drug-induced hell. What a mind that poor Mr McCroskie has.