Oh, thanks for the shout out Russell. Very kind words. We love your work too, so do our readers - we had an MP into the office this morning who said he was all up-to-speed on the status of the legal high law thanks to your recent piece.
p.s. I heard your very first @95bFM Hardnews on Graeme's show as an Akl uni first year in '91, and have been a #fanboy ever since.
Chris, I've not heard the term "synnies", but agree with Andre:
- synthetic high
- synthetic cannabis
- legal highs (an early 2000s term making a come back)
And also "beagle".
Damn you, Brown!
And then we have this research which reinforces earlier work highlighting the harms from early and heavy use. For me this strengthens the argument that drug policy is a valid debate during an election. Cannabis is harmful, which is why we need to change the law (and our wider policy approach).
And man, contrast the leadership shown by the Global Commission with what we have in NZ: National supports status quo. Labour and Greens have other priorities. ACT will leave it to the conscience of its MPs.
Parties don't want to debate drug policy in an election year, nor in the years in between.
I quite like the IM policy, and I liked the process the Internet Party used to develop the policy - it was crowd sourced to a greater degree: the first iteration was a big shit so I gave it no more thought; the final product is well thought out - it shows for example quite a good understanding of the current barriers to medical cannabis, which could be corrected with a very minor legal and regulatory amendment.
I'm thinking I have to do a Judith Collins and hop off Twitter for a while. So angry right now.
Yes, the LAPP must be been developed and adopted using the “special consultative procedure" in section 83 of the Local Government Act 2002. If they do that right, then the policy is in effect. Plus they give a copy to the Authority.
Auckland Council is trying to ban use of approved products in a public place. The Act doesn’t give them this power. So not sure if they can do this as a by-law instead.
Virginia, sorry for your loss. And thanks for your thoughtful and personal contributions to this discussion. Have you come across this Aussie organisation, Family Drug Support? The founder, Tony Trimingham, lost his son to a heroin overdose and has been a staunch advocate for drug law reform since. Tony spoke in NZ in 2009, and he's in this clip.
CARM's a tricky one - it's set up for health professionals, and requires pretty detailed information. We understand calls to the Poisons Centre also get reported. 0800 764 766
Hi Russell, we've just updated our website with info re LAPPs.
Councils aren't required to have one (but they should create one), and they can only set the location of outlets. Other controls, such as opening hours, are done by regulations (still under development). Perhaps some of those things being covered by regulations might be best suited to a LAPP, just as with local alcohol policies.
I think councils do protest too much in their claims that central government has placed all responsibility on them. But I also think the minister is being a bit naughty saying councils aren't pulling their weight. Much of the power of the law lies in the testing and other regulations, which are still being developed.
And there's another fishhook in this that the Ministry needs to sort out quickly. During this interim process retail outlets must remain in the location immediately prior to the law. So even if they wanted to move from the main strip or away from the Naenae shopping mall, they can't. This is an area of tension that could quickly be resolved with some clear heads. i.e. councils could set the LAPP saying they want stores in X locations, then the Authority should allow those stores with intermim retail licences to relocate to those areas.
Hi Virginia, no NZ doesn’t have a system like this. ESR does test drugs seized by Customs and Police, but that information is used as evidence for prosecutions and not shared with the health sector/users themselves. There are good mdoels offshore like the one you mention. We were in Vienna recently, and are publishing a story on a great service called Check It.
The closest we have in NZ is the brilliant website Tripme, which is a peer-to-peer drug info service: “Don’t take the red pill.” Russell is also writing about this for our magazine.