Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The frustrating politics of drug reform

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  • Steve Barnes, in reply to DeepRed,

    Otherwise called attacking the symptom, which effectively is the new PC.

    With reference to my earlier suggestion of compulsory cannabis for National...
    "Well, I'm relaxed about that, pretty happy, really quite happy. But we must attack those bats and I believe our 120 point plan will see a reduction of the number of lizards crawling on this carpet... Man"

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4640 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think it was felt by some senior members that having Nandor as the effective face of the party was unhelpful.

    Yes I'd agree with that Russell , just as no doubt Sue Bradford was sidelined as their social issue voice as being too radical .

    Part of the mainstreaming of the greens I guess.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 470 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    He had found small pockets of innovative practice in programmes, sentencing, rehab etc. His argument is that NZ is not so different to the US and our rate of incarceration is second only to the them. So we can learn from what some are doing there to address it.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris,

    Even the Parliamentary Green Party wound up distancing itself from its best-known law reform advocate Nandor Tanczos, if not its reform policy.

    Therein lies the problem. Tanczos wasn’t perceived to be a credible witness by those he most needed to persuade. Like the 1986 homosexual law reform, the message is best conveyed by one who holds no direct self-interest.

    For centrists like me, if Shearer and Labour were to show a little spine and support the idea of decriminalisation I might be persuaded to vote for them in spite of my aversion to many of their other proposed policies. After all, most of us hold our noses when we vote don’t we? No? Oh well...

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    our rate of incarceration is second only to the [USA]

    Actually, it’s 68th to the USA’s 1st.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Damn those pesky Russians and Georgians...

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to David Cormack,

    We're not even second in the OECD, as (in no particular order) Chile, Singapore, Israel and Poland are all above us in that table.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    We’re not even second in the OECD, as (in no particular order) Chile, Singapore, Israel and Poland are all above us in that table.

    And Mexico. And the Czech Republic. And Estonia.

    I wanted to yell this out from the audience last night. Depending on your definition, perhaps we're second-highest in the "Western World"?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2991 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    our rate of incarceration is second only to the [USA]

    Actually, it’s 68th to the USA’s 1st.

    Is this for all incarceration or drug crimes?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5972 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    Mmm. Portugal. Richard Brunstorm.

    I fear we need a good crisis to start cut through the layers upon layers of fuckwitedness involved.

    But the real problem is that a pile of poo would rain down upon us from the United States, along the lines of the "we-don't-like-that-you-decriminialised-prostitution-so-we're-going-to-label-you-as-child-sex-slavers"

    After all, look what they've done to Mexico...

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Actually, it’s 68th to the USA’s 1st.

    Cripes, those small ex-British Caribbean countries like to lock 'em up and throw away the key don't they? They make up half of the top twenty!

    The general public has been treated to five decades of unrelenting, absolutist prohibitionist anti-drug propaganda from their public and law enforcement agencies. The threat from drugs is frequently treated as synonymous with the threat from terrorism when conflating them is considered expedient.

    The fearful public generally believes what it is told by those in authority who they have been indoctrinated to trust. For those authorities to suddenly turn around and say it was all a terrible misunderstanding and all that stuff from Reefer Madness on was just alarmist nonsense would be to risk a massive psychological backlash.
    Politicians and enforcement officials have made drug use the biggest, baddest tiger in the room and now they've got that beast firmly by the tail. Good luck finding a politician that is keen on letting go!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1769 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Is this for all incarceration or drug crimes?

    All incarceration (which was the statistic being offered).

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2991 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Ta.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5972 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    The fearful public

    Yes they are scary aren't they

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 470 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    So where did the perception we're second come from? I've seen that in many a TV story about our imprisonment rate.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16444 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to slarty,

    along the lines of the “we-don’t-like-that-you-decriminialised-prostitution-so-we’re-going-to-label-you-as-child-sex-slavers”

    You're assuming that they're wrong. I'm not so sure that they are, sadly, and in any case I'm going to say [citation needed] on your proposition that it's some kind of retribution for us legalising prostitution. It's not like that affects them in any way unlike, say, us allowing parallel importing of copyrighted materials. I at least understand them putting us a list of "naughty" countries for the latter "sin".

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    How did Portugal's political process enable decriminalisation? Lessons there?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16444 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ben Curran,

    Why do those pushing law reform (campaign wise, i.e. norml) never lead with this? Start getting stories like this into the media

    Long-term thinking required. Some drugs disrupt that. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16444 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    It's per capita and something else - OECD?. Hopefully they will keep that bit for the programme on Thursday night.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Sacha,

    So where did the perception we’re second come from? I’ve seen that in many a TV story about our imprisonment rate.

    The numbers have changed a bit over the years, and with the expansion of the OECD in 1995, and again in 2010, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that sometime before 2010, we may well have been second-highest in the OECD.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2991 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Thanks Graeme - what did you think of Greg King's performance?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I have this weird memory of a time in 1999 (or possibly 2000 - the early days of the fifth Labour government) where a whole lot of MPs admitted to having used marijuana, mostly as students. Even the PM! But the really odd thing is that it was major news for about a day, then everyone promptly forgot about it.

    Are you sure you weren't hallucinating?

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2130 posts Report Reply

  • Ray Gilbert,

    Ahh, Helen Clark. I’d almost forgotten what a proper Prime Minister was like.

    Don't forget DavidLange's earlier stance as well

    Oddly enough I can't seem to find the actual online interveiw on the NORML website as they have updated it and you can't currently access the past versions.

    I recall him making comments very early on in his first term, when I was at high school, about his support for cannabis reform which went silent the day after they were made. I've done a quick search but can't find reference to them though.

    Since Nov 2006 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • Terry Baucher,

    The Economist must read Public Address, Russell because look what today's_Daily Chart is

    http://media.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/2012/06/blogs/graphic-detail/20120630_wom934.png

    Devonport • Since Nov 2008 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Terry Baucher,

    The Economist must read Public Address, Russell because look what today’s_Daily Chart is

    Heh. And you have to ask yourself: are we prepared to drag >10% of our population through the courts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18666 posts Report Reply

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