Posts by Ross Bell

  • Hard News: A law gone awry,

    I'm thinking I have to do a Judith Collins and hop off Twitter for a while. So angry right now.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    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.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    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

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    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.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs, in reply to Virginia Brooks,

    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.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs, in reply to BenWilson,

    Purchase age restrictions, marketing controls, mandatory poisons centre helpline on labels, out of dairies. And soon, pre-market testing for harm, consumers will know what they're taking, standards for manufacturing. Lots.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs,

    Pam Corkery not liking me on the facebook:

    Gangs wouldn't touch this shit. Their networks are set up for the even more lucrative P. Synthetics aren't made here, and I can't see the likes of Bowden etc running the gauntlet of illegal importing, if it were banned. Synthetics are a crap high and it's only the legality that is selling it. I don't believe we should hide behind "prohibition doesn't work" in this case. In N/A our job is to support the addicts. I believe there's also an obligation by the Drug Foundation and legislators not to create more. And I also believe in the sovereignty of councils to be respected, and that they not be forced to facilitate the sales of legal highs. There's a lot of social factors to get right in New Zealand before moving into decriminalising drugs. Legal equals mandatory for the mainly teen market buying this crap. Push synthetics underground and the appeal would go.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs,

    its easier than admitting the often annoying marijuana legalisation advocates were essentially correct.

    Changing the law around cannabis might indeed go a long way to significantly reducing demand for the fake stuff. But it's arguable whether it will do anything for demand for the speedy legals highs (the first, BZP, was no cannabis substitute). Regardless cannabis law reform, we still need controls over new psychoactive substances and this law is a goodie.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The PM struck me as equivocal on this this morning (forever the optimist, me) "I think that's a fair question."
    http://www.3news.co.nz/PM-Legalising-cannabis-wont-kill-legal-highs/tabid/1607/articleID/340980/Default.aspx

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes, a long way away. This is the biggest problem with the law - the delay in getting the supporting regulations in place. The Ministry of Health blames lack of capacity, but I struggle with that. Regulation-making powers were on the cards very early in this process and drafting could have started as the bill made its way through Parliament.

    And it's not as if they were starting from scratch: there were regs being drafted way back when Jim Anderton did the Restricted Substances category. And even before that we saw some draft regs that Chen Palmer :) had started on behalf of the industry (which were quite good).

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

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