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Speaker: The changing world of drug policy

10 Responses

  • Jackson James Wood,

    Why does Russia have such a big problem with poppy seeds? Did Putin eat a poppy seed bun before a major speech only to have his teeth riddled with little black dots and his confidence shaken by the slight chuckles and groans of disgust from the audience?

    New Zealand • Since May 2011 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    The jewel in our drug policy crown, however, is the Psychoactive Substances Act which came into force last year. We have called the bluff of the legal highs industry and told them to prove their wares are low-risk before sale, through tight regulations

    Pity we couldn't do this with alcohol suppliers, would they pass the same test?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Vince McLeod,

    It's been clear for a while that cannabis law reform is just around the corner.

    I'm not convinced about the Psychoactive Substances Act. I know a professional chemist who has tried and failed to determine what the active ingredient(s) in some of them are, so they cannot have been proven low-risk.

    I am glad, though, that the issue is being raised in an international forum.

    Nelson, New Zealand • Since Nov 2012 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • alobar, in reply to Richard Aston,

    Pity we couldn't do this with alcohol suppliers, would they pass the same test?

    I guess the average beer would , its the quantity consumed that's an issue , the same may be true for some other drugs .

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I’m a bit slow to this one. Having looked from the sidelines of the drug policy landscape, it’s far from clear what elements a successful drug policy would have.

    Most broadly defined, the preferred outcome would be a dramatic reduction in the harm experienced by the community, but this is open to considerable interpretation. For some, temporary intoxication caused by drugs (pleasure, in other words) is a form of harm. So, how do we define successful policy outcomes?

    I’m going to throw out a few possibilities from the top of my head;
    less involvement in criminal justice system of those not actively creating harm to others
    less long term harm to those using drugs
    less medium and long-term harm to those around them
    less access to the most harmful drugs
    greater community awareness of the relative harms of drugs
    greater access to treatment and greater resolution of addictions
    Am I missing anything?

    How does the PSA, a few months after implementation, measure against any of these standards? And how might a MDA (Misuse…) aligned with the PSA fulfil these objectives?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell, in reply to George Darroch,

    Hi George - we had a crack at that here: The Wellington Declaration

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Ross Bell,

    We had a crack at that here: The Wellington Declaration

    It's a very good one. Where is the PSA showing evidence that it's meeting some of those objectives, and where is it falling short? (Leaving aside that it covers only a section of the drug landscape.)

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • david westcot, in reply to Richard Aston,

    so true Richard,standing back in the cold hard light of day for a dispassionate look at the prohibition landscape [historical,social,legal,medical, & political] , you can but shake your head in disbelief at the naked double standard & bigotry that sees a very dangerous drug- alchohol - industrially produced & marketed ,while much lower harm drugs ie weed ,MDMA, & shrooms ,get U thrown into a cage for supplying some to a friend. The law commission TRIED to mitigate this disgusting travesty [ presumption of no jail-time for supplying friends] but was headbutted by drugwar rottweillers Simon Power & now crusher Collins. The power of the medieval papacy may have waned but sad fact is we still live amidst some grossly ignorant & barbaric customs.

    dunedin • Since Jun 2012 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Vince McLeod,

    I’m not convinced about the Psychoactive Substances Act. I know a professional chemist who has tried and failed to determine what the active ingredient(s) in some of them are, so they cannot have been proven low-risk.

    Nothing has been approved as low-risk yet, but there have been a few products granted interim approval as part of the transition to the new regime.

    But the idea is for the ingredients of a product to not be a secret.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Breakfast in bed for 400,000...
    Don't take the brown acid

    Police yesterday issued a warning about the "unpredictable and highly dangerous" new series of synthetic drugs known NBOMe, which mimic lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).
    They say it is becoming increasingly available on the street.
    In the past week, five people have been admitted to Christchurch Hospital after taking the drug. Two of them spent time in the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) in a critical condition.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

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