Graeme, aren't personal votes and conscience votes technically the same thing? I recall last time the alcohol purchase age was debate the Speaker called for personal votes.
Hi Craig - not sure if you're planning on it, but it would be great to see you at the taping. I've been meaning to make contact with you for a while. I'll introduce you to Chris too - he's a nice guy.... for an alcoholic.
Oh, I do love Friday post-a-video day.
Taking things in a different direction to the music posted above. Here's a clip of some advocacy that Aram Barra (guest on Media7) was involved in - Drug lords celebrating prohibition at the UN drug meeting this year.
However, I part company with portmanteau wholesale drug decriminalisation advocates over the issue of P/crystal meth. In that particular instance and that instance only, I'm afraid that measures like harm minimisation and risk reduction don't work.
But neither does prohibition.
I would happily argue that a health response (harm min and all that) does work for meth. And I'm hoping here we're not confusing 'harm minimisation' with 'decrim/legalisation' - we all know that they're different things, aye?
@ Russell. Try this for a great academic abstract from a paper studying how policy makers use evidence:
Based on participant observation in a team of British policy-making civil servants carried out in 2009, this article examines the use that is made of evidence in making policy. It shows that these civil servants displayed a high level of commitment to the use of evidence. However, their use of evidence was hampered by the huge volume of various kinds of evidence and by the unsuitability of much academic research in answering policy questions. Faced with this deluge of inconclusive information, they used evidence to create persuasive policy stories. These stories were useful both in making acceptable policies and in advancing careers. They often involved the excision of methodological uncertainty and the use of ‘killer charts’ to boost the persuasiveness of the narrative. In telling these stories, social inequality was ‘silently silenced’ in favour of promoting policies which were ‘totemically’ tough. The article concludes that this selective, narrative use of evidence is ideological in that it supports systematically asymmetrical relations of power.
@Russell - Julian Buchanan is a smart guy - for Wellington-based folks, he's giving his first public lecture next week - titled "Problem drug use, stigma and exclusion."
While the decision to regulate is a very good (dare I say, a 'common sense' decision), it's gonna take a while to actually do so, because the law allowing regulations is drafted in a such a way that it cannot technically be used (#fail). And ultimately, the law needs to be updated so that these products can't hit the market until we know something about them - it's very strange these things can be sold without the industry being honest about what they're selling.
So whether the government likes it or not, they're gonna have to amend our 35-year-old drug law just to keep up with these modern times.
@Fraser - Not the first time the govt has rolled over for Heineken.
Heineken got its wish to have its product served in metal cans despite protest from Police.
The fast tracking of liquor licences thru the world cup empowering bill is consistent with backing the booze barons.
Check out 6 spades and Queen of diamonds:
BREAKING NEWS: In a shock move, the Government has this evening taken Parliament into extraordinary urgency to pass a bill to increase the tobacco excise tax. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3634098/Tobacco-excise-tax-increased-by-Government#share
Let's remind ourselves what the the Prime Minister said yesterday about the same recommendation for liquor.
A timely piece of research being discussed at the International [Drug] Harm Reduction Conference right now...
A review of 20 years of research into drug enforcement has found that attempts to snuff out the trade in illegal substances have the opposite effect to that intended, by creating a power vacuum when drugs barons are imprisoned which is rapidly filled by competitors eager to fight each other for the newly-vacated territory.