prohibition

If anyone knows about prohibition it is the Sallies…and they say it doesn’t work

Some very wise words from a Salvation Army boss about prohibition, both of alcohol and cannabis.

Simon Collins takes a break from pimping the poor to talk to to Alistair Herring of the Salvation Army.

A New Zealander who has come home after heading the Salvation Army in Pakistan says prohibition never works, but more restrictions can reduce the harm from drugs and alcohol.

Commissioner Alistair Herring, 63, who returned from Pakistan in April to head the Salvation Army’s NZ addiction services, said Islam’s ban on alcohol did not stop Pakistanis suffering serious addiction problems.

“Muslims are not allowed to hold alcohol licences in Pakistan on the premise that Islam is against addictive substances,” he said. “What tends to happen in reality is that Muslims who want to drink will go to the Christian or non-Muslim community for their alcohol. I have talked to Muslim folk in Pakistan and they acknowledge that it is a problem. There is also a huge drug problem, of course.”

He said Salvationists vowed not to drink or smoke voluntarily “because of who we are and the services we provide”. But compulsion was “quite a different thing”.

“Prohibition is never going to work, has never worked,” he said.

He said he would be “very cautious” about decriminalising cannabis, as proposed by Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, but he acknowledged the inconsistency of laws on cannabis and alcohol.

“I understand the younger generation saying to their parents, ‘So you are against my drug of choice but what about your drug of choice?'” he said. “We tend to want to use a sledgehammer with drugs and a feather duster with alcohol.”

Read more »

A reader emails about Legalisation of Cannabis

William emails:

It is increasingly obvious that the prohibition of what legal highs attempt to replicate is shortsighted.

People will continue to do whatever it is that they choose to do, which in this case is experimenting with a plant that has grown naturally for thousands of years. Whether or not this plant is illegal is irrelevant to them.

As it stands, the prohibition delivers three hits to New Zealand. The first is the cost of fighting violent cartels and this cost will only increase. This is a ‘war’ that will not end, so would it not be a better state of affairs if New Zealanders did not break the law and fund violent cartels every time they indulged?

The second hit is the lost revenue because of non-taxation. Instead of giving violent cartels an enormous revenue stream, why does the government not collect tax on the product so as to pay for its detrimental effects? A similar state of affairs exists with both alcohol and cigarettes, both of which would be illegal if judged by the same criteria as marijuana. There would be boosted revenues for the government in G.S.T, income tax and company tax, aside from the thousands of jobs that would be created for those in the industry.  Read more »

Top British Cop calls for end to war on drugs

Prohibition on drugs hasn’t worked, nor did it work on booze. It was ridiculous to even suggest it may have worked. Prohibition has never worked anywhere in the world.

Even countries with the death penalty for drug offences have drug problems. The world over people are starting to wake up to the issue.

Class A drugs should be decriminalised and drug addicts “treated and cared for not criminalised”, according to a senior UK police officer.

Writing in the Observer, Chief Constable Mike Barton of Durham Police said prohibition had put billions of pounds into the hands of criminals.

He called for an open debate on the problems caused by drugs.

The Home Office reiterated its stance and said drugs were illegal because they were dangerous.  Read more »

Tagged:

Sanity on Drugs

ᔄ Sydney Morning Herald

A former top Australian cop talks sense. The war on drugs has failed. We should stop criminals having a monopoly on drugs by regulating and taxing drugs and putting those who break tax laws in jail for a very long time.

The reality is that, contrary to frequent assertions, drug law enforcement has had little impact on the Australian drug market. This is true in most countries in the world.

In Australia the police are better resourced than ever, better trained than ever, more effective than ever and yet their impact on the drug trade, on any objective assessment, has been minimal.

In the Herald last week, the opposition health spokesman, Peter Dutton, asserted that ”law enforcement does achieve significant results and is not yet at its peak of effectiveness”. I feel compelled to respond, because frankly the evidence does not stack up. In Australia last year, 86 per cent of drug users said that obtaining heroin was ”easy” or ”very easy”, while 93 per cent reported that obtaining hydroponic cannabis was ”easy” or ”very easy”.

The price of street heroin and cocaine decreased by more than 80 per cent in the US and Europe in the past 20 years. Despite a huge investment by the US in drug law enforcement, northern Mexico has descended into a drug cartel battlefield, driven by the demand for illicit drugs within the US. At the local level, our young people can and do purchase illicit drugs with ease and generally with impunity. If this is an effective policy at work, I am not sure what failure would look like.

Maybe Don should move to America

It might be a good idea for Don Brash to move to America. The debate on decriminalisation of Marijuana seems a whole lot more mature than here:

Asked in 1995 to comment on the War on Drugs, William F. Buckley told the New York Bar Association that perhaps it should be ended. Waging it seemed to him counterproductive and unjust. “It is outrageous to live in a society whose laws tolerate sending young people to life in prison because they grew, or distributed, a dozen ounces of marijuana,” he stated. And the magazine he founded soon followed suit. In 1996, National Review published a brave editorial declaring that “the war on drugs has failed,” adding that “we all agree on movement toward legalization, even though we may differ on just how far.” It was brave because just one in four Americans favored legalizing marijuana back then, and most of them weren’t movement conservatives.

Today 50 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana, according to a new poll released by Gallup. That’s a milestone. Among liberals, 69 percent want to end prohibition. Just 34 percent of conservatives agree. The prohibitionist cause is nevertheless doomed by demographics. “Support for legalizing marijuana is directly and inversely proportional to age,” Gallup reports, “ranging from 62 percent approval among those 18 to 29 down to 31 percent among those 65 and older.” The only question is how many more lives prohibition will destroy over how many years before voters end it.

Talking about Prohibition

Don Brash may have raised the standard of debate in positing that we need to decriminalise cannabis, unfortunately the rest of our politicians lacked the necessary maturity to discuss the issue sensible. New Zealand is poorer for the lack of sensible debate.

Andrew Sullivan posted this video today about Prohibition and how that worked, and compares it with the War on Drugs.

Act supports decriminalisation of Cannabis

from NewstalkZb

Act leader Don Brash is calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis.

He says prohibition of the drug hasn’t worked, and policing it costs millions of tax payer dollars and clogs up the court system.

He’s told TVNZ’s Q&A programme there are other ways to restrict the use of marijuana.

“It’s estimated thousands of New Zealanders use cannabis on a fairly regular basis, 6,000 are prosecuted every year, a $100million of tax payers money is spent to police this law,” says My Brash.

Prohibition has never worked anywhere in the world.

I would go a whole step further and legalise it and tax it just like tobacco and alcohol. Then if you treat it just like alcohol and tobacco the Greens will lobby to control it through governmental means removing control from the gangs and other criminal elements.

Stoners now have two choices for meaningful change around cannabis law, the Greens and ACT. The more entrepreneurial drug dealer will support ACT probably and the stoner will support Greens, a win, win situation.

Pedobear has time to change liquor laws but not to protect kids from pedos

Pedobear Power appeared on Q+A with P Holmes today and showed just how powerful the liquor lobby are. I mean after all they retain Chen/Palmer….and didn’t Geoffrey Palmer via the Law Commission make some of these suggestions.

Assisting commercial clients who will be or have been affected by current law reform issues in the area of waste minimisation, the sale of liquor, financial services, energy and telecommunications regulation, climate change, and local government reform

Hmmmmm…..is that a conflict of interest….even though Geoffrey has left the firm I can’t think of why he would leave his name on the firm for free.

Anyway so Pedobear Power turns up for an interview on Q+A, to save you the boredom of listening the the best leader National has never had this can be summarised from TVNZs press release.

  • Government signals major overhaul of liquor laws tomorrow (So time to reform liquor laws, but no time to protect children from pedophiles through our own Megan’s law. The law Commission made their recommendations in April and Pedobear has acted now, the same Law Commission made recommendations regarding name suppression last year and still no action.)
  • Exclusive: Councils will be able to create “Local Alcohol Plans” to make liquor licences harder to get (Why? Harder to get than what? Harder than a licence for brothel? What about a kindy, since Pedobear is pedo-friendly?)
  • Local communities will have new powers to reject liquor licences based on how many are in their neighbourhood, where they are and what hours they’re open (Based on what evidence that the number of outlets affects the local populace?)
  • Dry areas or 24/7 licences won’t be possible, however, as they won’t pass a new “reasonableness” test (Set by whom?)
  • New: Government will set “default” national guidelines, including “maximum trading hours” (Six o’clock closing anyone?)
  • Power says “no good will come” of queuing up to enter a bar at 5am, and promises action on that tomorrow (Wow, action from Pedobear. I feel sorry sorry for the bar workers who just finished their shift at 5am and want a drink and now Pedobear is going to deny that)
  • Power again rules out excise tax, also rules out sales tax; refuses to rule out minimum price (Minimum price….drooool….This is exactly what the retailers and liquor want, no more cheap piss, bro, super-profits anyone?)
  • Supermarkets and other outlets will need to “persuade [government] that things are as pure as are being said” (Uhhhmmmm, no, how about government proves it isn’t? Freedom of trade, will Pedobear set loose hordes of outlet inspectors?)
  • Focus of law change will be to reduce the harm caused by alcohol, especially on youth (and when it doesn’t, does Pedobear resign?)
  • Justice Minister won’t say he wants the price of alcohol to go up, although confirms “the government has a view” on that to be revealed tomorrow (I just bet he does, and I bet it is Bill English’s view. Higher price more GST, more tax money to spend)
  • Power doubts Steven Joyce would drive after he’d drunk three-quarters of a bottle of wine, even though he would still be under the drink-driving limit (Of course he doubts it, ever heard of VIP Transport, what Minister would ever drink and drive with those sorts of transport arrangement?)

Pedobear Power on Q+A

Pedobear Power on Q+A