Reefer Madness | The Jackal

13 Jul 2011

Reefer Madness

A few MP's spoke on the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill in Parliament yesterday. While most showed a good grasp on what they were talking about, Peter Dunne dropped a couple of clangers in his uninspiring and droll speech.

Although the bill is in the most part well thought out, it has a number of items that raise concern. The bill proposes to deregulate Thalidomide, which is a terrible drug that has caused more harm than marijuana ever could.

While the council is correct in its argument that Thalidomide has no potential to be misused for psychoactive effect, they're completely wrong that thalidomide can be more effectively controlled under the Medicines Act 1981. The Government fails to understand that thalidomide is not a medicine at all, it's a dangerous poison.

Thalidomide has caused thousands of deformities and deaths, therefore it should be fully restricted as a dangerous substance. Removing any restriction around the importation of Thalidomide is incomprehensibly stupid!

I am also puzzled by the proposition to control the importation and supply of "drug utensils." The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill states:
The provisions for prohibiting the importation and supply of utensils used for the purpose of administering controlled drugs will be expanded to make it an offence to possess utensils for the purpose of sale or supply and prohibit the importation of incomplete utensils that, for example, require only the addition of a metal cone for burning cannabis to become usable. This will allow Police and Customs to more effectively enforce the utensils provisions and minimise the visibility and availability of drug paraphernalia.
A bong can be made out of just about anything. What they hope to achieve by giving the police and customs the power to halt imports of anything that can be used to make a bong if you add a metal cone is questionable. It's clear that such a law could be problematic.

There's no question that such a provision will do nothing to curb peoples drug use. It's an ineffectual and ridiculous proposition showing just how out of touch the Government has become. They need to be undertaking things that are proven to be beneficial, not clasping at straws.

The amendment also imposes limits on over the counter sales of medicines that contain pseudoephedrine. However the Government fails to comprehend that 90% of all precursors used for the manufacture of drugs like P are smuggled into New Zealand from other countries. The vast majority coming from China. Still there is no provision given to try and limit the free trade of illegal substances that cross our borders.

I'm disappointed that the Government has failed to address the main issues surrounding New Zealand's drug use. In my opinion, a lack of rehabilitation centers and proper education are the main areas that need attention. Instead the Government believes that limiting access and increasing penalties will curb drug use. The failure of such a regime is unmistakable. It is similar prehistoric thinking as that seen in the 1930's, and look where that got us.