Drugs

Is taking drugs a human right?

Is taking drugs a human right?

Some peers and MPs in Europe think so.

Drug users have a human right to feed their habit, MPs and peers have said, as they claimed international conventions banning drugs need to be reformed.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform said in a new report that Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the rights to “private and family life” – could be deployed by drug users who face prosecution.

Regulation of banned substances “needs to reflect the supremacy of human rights conventions”, the report said.

It was the latest in a series of controversial proposals by the committee which two years ago said heroin and cocaine should be decriminalised, and less harmful drugs such as cannabis should be sold openly by licensed dealers.

“For European countries the European Convention on Human Rights, in particular Article 8, could be invoked in support of the argument that possession or purchase or cultivation of drugs for personal use, particularly in small quantities, do not injure other people’s rights either directly or indirectly and therefore should not be criminalised,” it said.

“The interpretation of the Drug Control Conventions must take full account of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the impact of current policies in human terms.

“This applies fully to the response to the production, trafficking and sale of controlled drugs.

“When the existing unbalanced prohibitionist response to drug market activities breaches human rights, then adjustments must be made.”    Read more »

No drugs to be consumed on the premises

via uchicago.edu

via uchicago.edu

Our country has lost another bit of its innocence as parents of a primary school are instructed not to bring or consume drugs to a fundraiser…

Parents attending next Saturday’s Westmere and Bayfield School Spring Ball have been issued a code of conduct warning that any anti-social and illegal activity – including drug-taking – will get them kicked out.

And security staff will be posted at the Motat venue to eject ballgoers who fall foul of the rules. … Read more »

40 years for the War on Drugs…total failure

We have spent forty years on the ‘War on Drugs’ in this country, and not a single positive outcome has occurred.

It is the same around the world and is leading countries to look at alternatives. Portugal is a classic example, that shows that contrary to the nay-sayers, decriminalisation can actually work in addressing the harm of drugs.

So, in New Zealand people are now having to re-think our approach…the problem though is just a single, old fashioned old fool can hold up any real progress.

Drug law reform. Is there any better example of a heart versus head issue? Logic and rationality tells you that the system does not work, that drugs are a medical issue not a criminal one. But your gut says lock all the junkies and potheads up.

It is Ross Bell’s job to wrestle with these dilemmas. For 11 years he has been chief executive of the New Zealand Drug Foundation, a charitable trust charged with preventing and reducing harms caused by drug use.

The irony is that decriminalisation of drugs can reduce harms more effectively than prohibition. This is where the Drug Foundation now finds itself. Bell’s current angle is that our drug law turns 40 this year and is showing its age. Time for an overhaul.

The Misuse of Drugs Act became law in 1975, during the last days of Bill Rowling’s Labour government. It was that long ago, a time of dancing cossacks, disco and Fleetwood Mac. The big drug scares were heroin and LSD.

During the parliamentary debate, Rowling-era police minister Michael Connelly aired the then-fashionable view that cannabis was a gateway drug. Pot smokers would naturally “graduate” to harder drugs.

But New Zealand was really being a follower and getting behind the United States, Bell says. President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs in 1971. The United Nations agreed on a new drugs treaty in the same year. New Zealand had to keep up.   Read more »

15 years in a Bali jail for being led by the dick

Antony de Malmanche is going to have 15 years in jail for letting his little head do the thinking.

A New Zealand man who was lured to Bali by online love and was arrested for drug trafficking has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Antony De Malmanche’s guilty verdict came through at approximately 6:40pm (NZ time).

He has also been fined Rp4 billion (NZ$441,100).

The 53-year-old’s trial has heard he was abused as a child, has been institutionalised for mental illness and has a low IQ.

He was lonely and looking for love online when he met “Jessy Smith”, and an invitation for an expenses-paid overseas trip followed.   Read more »

Crusher’s baaaack

Judith Collins has a hard hitting column in the Sunday Star-Times showing her mettle again on law and order.

Who would want to be an undercover police officer? You put your life on the line, you leave your home and family, you assume an identity, you live with people who are violent drug dealers in constant fear for your life, and then they start to suspect you.

Either you get out and the whole costly operation is compromised or you stay put and leave your life in the hands of people who might well kill you.  If they find out who you really are, not only are you at serious risk, but so is your family.

So, you might think the police could set up a fake search warrant, like the fake identity items you already have, to bolster your story and provide you better cover. Well, you’d be wrong.

Nelson police targeted the Red Devils gang in the undercover Operation Explorer, from September 2009 to March 2011.

Explorer resulted in more than 150 charges, including drugs, firearms and conspiracy charges, being laid against 21 members and associates of the gang. That sounds like a great result to me.

But, the Crown recently dropped the case after Justice David Collins stayed a majority of the charges because, he says, evidence for them was ‘improperly’ obtained by police.

Justice Collins ruled police probably broke the law when they forged that search warrant and prosecuted an undercover officer to bolster his credibility with the gang. He said the police’s actions amounted to “significant misconduct” and possible “serious criminal offending”.

Police Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess has said officers involved in the fake warrant and prosecution “were acting in the honest belief that their actions were lawful and necessary to protect the undercover officer”.

Police reviewed the conduct of staff involved with Operation Explorer in 2012 and found no prosecution or disciplinary action were required.

I couldn’t agree more with the police. It is simply outrageous that serious criminal offending by a dangerous gang be allowed to go unanswered. Their illegal firearms continue to be out on the streets, and these dangerous criminals continue to be a risk to families and communities. The gang must be laughing. The message is clear to criminal gangs. Let your new friend know you think they could be police, know that if they are, the operation will be closed down.

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Imagine the outcry if these incidents happened at a Charter School?

The Labour party and teacher unions always bang on about teacher registration being vitally important for the safety of children. It is the major reason they oppose charter schools.

If a single teacher at a charter school has problems they are immediately calling for the cancellation of the programme.

But when, almost daily, ratbag teachers are hauled before the disciplinary tribunal or the courts there is total and utter silence.

Even drug dealing ratbag teachers and principals.

A Northland school teacher has been censured and deregistered after he was convicted for cultivating, possessing and supplying cannabis.

Mario Cachia, 49, was sentenced to 10 months’ home detention for possessing cannabis for the purpose of sale, selling cannabis and cultivating cannabis.

He had pleaded guilty when he appeared in Whangarei District Court in November.

The New Zealand Teachers’ Disciplinary Tribunal has now deregistered him after Cachia agreed his convictions were serious and warranted an adverse finding. Cachia is among seven teachers in Northland who were convicted of offences such as drugs and dishonesty in 2014.

Read more »

Portugal’s stunning results after decriminalisation

The effects of decriminalisation of recreational drugs in Portugal are stunning, and quite the opposite of what was predicted.

This is the sort of model New Zealand should be looking at.

Portugal decriminalised the use of all drugs in 2001. Weed, cocaine, heroin, you name it — Portugal decided to treat possession and use of small quantities of these drugs as a public health issue, not a criminal one. The drugs were still illegal, of course. But now getting caught with them meant a small fine and maybe a referral to a treatment program — not jail time and a criminal record.

Whenever people debate drug policy – marijuana decriminalisation, for instance – many drug-policy makers predict dire consequences. “If you make any attractive commodity available at lower cost, you will have more users,” former US Office of National Drug Control Policy deputy director Thomas McLellan once said of Portugal’s policies. Joseph Califano, founder of the Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, once warned that decriminalisation would “increase illegal drug availability and use among our children”.

But in Portugal, the numbers paint a different story. The prevalence of past-year and past-month drug use among young adults has fallen since 2001, according to statistics compiled by the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, which advocates on behalf of ending the war on drugs. Overall adult use is down slightly too. And new HIV cases among drug users are way down.

Now, numbers just released from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction paint an even more vivid picture of life under decriminalisation: drug overdose deaths in Portugal are the second-lowest in the European Union.    Read more »

Photo Of The Day

IMAGE: PETRA NIEMEIER - K & K/REDFERNS / GETTY IMAGES

IMAGE: PETRA NIEMEIER – K & K/REDFERNS / GETTY IMAGES

Hanging out with Hendrix

Jimi Cooking Up A Storm

 34 Montagu Square, in Marylebone, London, is a part of music history. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr leased the ground-floor and basement apartment in the mid-1960s, and Paul McCartney created several Beatles demos there in 1965, including “I’m Looking Through You” from the album Revolver.

Hendrix also lived in the apartment, subletting it from Ringo beginning in December 1966. He lived with his girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham, and also with his manager, Chas Chandler, and his girlfriend, Lotta Null. The monthly rent was £30.

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Awesome! Bali holidays to get cheaper and less Aussies too

Apparently the Aussies are all expressing faux outrage because some drug smuggling ratbags got ventilated.

They want to boycott Bali now.

Australians outraged by the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are cancelling their travel plans to Bali.

Melbourne father Malcolm Sheridan had been planning to visit the popular tourist destination with his family in June, but he’s now keeping his travel plans local.

Mr Sheridan said it was the only thing he could do to send a message to the Indonesian government.

“It’s quite barbaric what’s happened over there,” he told AAP on Wednesday.   Read more »

Where was the headline “Cops catch fleeing drug dealer by knocking him off his motorcycle”?

Fairfax has caught the cop bashing disease from the NZ Herald.

Their headline reads “Police admit knocking motorcyclist off bike”.

You’d think this was some random innocent motorcyclist that the Police had run down…but read the article and you find out this was some drug dealing scumbag who fled from the police on a motorcycle.

Police have admitted knocking a motorcyclist off his bike following a high speed chase in Hawera.

A 43-year-old New Plymouth man will appear in court tomorrow on a number of driving and drug charges in relation to the chase on Friday night.

An eyewitness said he saw a police car knock the man off the bike at low speed as it reached the corner of Collins St and South Rd about 11.30pm.

Hawera Senior Sergeant Kyle Davie alleged the motorcyclist tried to evade police twice.   Read more »