Health trougher reveals his statist leanings

Doug Sellman is a control freak, who hates alcohol. He is also a cry-baby who whinges about people criticising him.

You can tell he hates alcohol and alcohol companies when he compares?them to criminal gangs.

The days of cannabis prohibition in New Zealand appear to be coming to an end. Peter Dunne is reflecting a change in public attitudes towards cannabis that is gathering momentum.

The brave admissions by Helen Kelly and others about their illegal use of cannabis for medical purposes has helped reignite public discussion about cannabis law in general.

Drugs, including alcohol, are here to stay – our job is to get better at managing them as a society. Declaring war is a failed strategy, which needs to be replaced by scientifically based harm-reduction approaches.

He is, of course, funded for his own harm-reduction approaches, so it is unsurprising that he wants more of this.

He now embarks on his own jihad against alcohol companies.

Alcohol has a highly commercialised “free market” approach, which Sir Geoffrey Palmer described as “unbridled commercialisation” when he led the Law Commission’s call for strong regulatory reform in 2010 (mostly ignored by the Government at the time).

At the other end of the continuum is prohibition, which exists for cannabis and all other recreational drugs (except tobacco).

Even possession of small quantities of cannabis can potentially attract a criminal conviction, which can scar a young person for life, derailing them from feeling they belong to the mainstream of society and blocking career and travel options.

Excessive harm is caused at both ends of the continuum, where big business flourishes, one within the law and the other outside of it. Both share the goal of profit maximisation from supplying and selling as much of their drug as possible.

Booze companies are like drug cartels?

He continues:

The alcohol industry goes out of its way to project a socially responsible image and strives to be seen as part of the solution to problems its product creates rather than ever admit it is central to the problems.

Behind the scenes, however, alcohol corporates target new young customers, avoid paying tax, schmooze politicians, and attempt to denigrate those who point out their devious tactics.

The organised criminal cannabis suppliers also flagrantly target the young and avoid paying tax, but they don’t try to pretend they are anything but gangsters making money out of drug dealing.

There he is with his cry-baby stance. But he should be challenged with his beliefs that companies selling a legal and highly regulated and licensed product are somehow akin to tinnie houses and drug cartels.

Leaving recreational drugs in the hands of big business, without very strong regulation, is a recipe for harm maximisation. Prohibition is an admission of defeat and an abrogation of control.

Harm would be minimised in the middle ground of the drug policy continuum if the Government took centre-stage and strongly regulated drugs in terms of marketing, pricing, accessibility, age of purchase and drug-driving laws.

With change in the cannabis laws coming there is danger that a 180-degree switch might occur – from prohibition to commercialisation.

Lobbying of our parliamentarians may already be under way by business leaders salivating at the new fortunes they anticipate reaping. This is especially so since the dramatic changes in the United States where four states now have laws allowing private businesses to supply and sell cannabis.

There are alternatives to a private business model, one of which is the establishment of state-owned enterprises.

Government monopolies of retail sales of alcohol exist in Scandinavia and are documented as a highly effective harm reduction intervention for alcohol . In Uruguay the Government directly controls a legalised cannabis market alongside home growing and social clubs.

With the Government taking control of drugs, the huge profit from sales goes back to the Government for the greater good. Black markets are undermined while health promotion can be genuinely undertaken at the point of sale, motivated by the fact the state bears the costs for harm from excessive use of these drugs.

He has just spent half of his article claiming that heavy handed regulation of illegal drugs and the war on drugs has failed and in his next breath he is telling us only the government (which failed in its war on drugs) is the only solution to controlling the issue of harm from those same drugs, of which he lumps alcohol in?the?same boat.

It is a ridiculous proposition, so ridiculous that Labour will probably end up adopting it. You will say I jest but consider this….Labour wants to strong arm banks, control?interest rates, have the state as the sole provider in education, health and many other industries. They still want to nationalise the power system and have every single adult on suckling on the tit of the state…why wouldn’t they want control of the drug and alcohol industry?

Doug Sellman is a dangerous, conceited, lunatic masquerading with respectability because of his job and title. Anyone who thinks the government is the answer to any problem is certifiable, and clearly and demonstrably a statist if not a communist. He should be challenged at every opportunity because his drivel is so willingly accepted by the like of the NZ Herald. The fact he compares alcohol companies with illegal drug cartels shows he is acutally unfit for his job as an academic, and shows clear bias in anything he says or does.


– NZ Herald