Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State. 'Illigitum non carborundum'.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Prohibition: The Minister of Legal Heroin’s Wilful, Negligent Ignorance.


Advocates of the free society understand that democracy, while being an important step on the way, is not the free society promised by classical liberalism; it is the oft quoted tyranny of a majority, which, worse, has been largely hijacked by the ethic of the Left. That said, it would still be great to see, and a little glimmer of hope, if from time to time politicians showed they understood the spirit behind a democratic system: that we don’t vote them in so they get to pompously tell us how we are to live our lives as they would want us, but are voted in to ensure that we get to live as we want so long as we do no harm. This is no longer the case in the West, which under the corrosive partisanship of party politics, has become hoist on the petard of hubris and arrogance of a politician’s expectations for their career, lording it over we small people, everything about us regulated and known in our tax surveillance states. Case in point, again, Peter Dunne, Minister of Legal Heroin.  
 








 

No. I have summed up on this post the travesty, and the disaster for those individuals addicted to legal heroin by this government, of Peter Dunne’s Psychoactive Substances Act. This legislation was inept in inception, succeeded only in addicting some thousands to the most toxic substances created, on a league with heroin, while irrationally keeping non-toxic cannabis criminalised, and is now all the more cruel in its abeyance, given the Act’s failure. It was the enactment of one man’s ego with consequences that were 100% predicted by myself on this blog and other critics who cared to stay informed. To continue the above Twitter thread, it appears the Minister of Legal Heroin is so confirmed of his own opinion, he feels no need to stay informed, or interact in any way with those who are, for as usual, he disappeared into a bauble somewhere. He must step down.
 


















The New Zealand Drug Foundation, per their site, seems to take no overt position, other than that information is power. It seeks to bring the information regarding drugs, for and against, into one place so that individuals can be informed. More power to them. Especially the number of pieces that are rightly critical of prohibition for cannabis, information Peter Dunne seems too arrogant or ignorant to avail himself of, as with every other member of Parliament:
 

 


 

The article in that link advocating the decriminalisation of cannabis, written in 2007 before these evil synthetic, toxic heroins became so prevalent, is even more relevant today, but Mr Dunne and our masters in the sandpit at the Fortress of Legislation prefer to remain wilfully ignorant, while they try vainly to keep the baubles of power in this September’s general election. I don’t agree with everything in the below post, but certainly most of it. It would be interesting to know what Mr Dunne's thoughts were if he deemed to read it, but thinking, apparently, is not his strong suit: proof, his dreadful, calamitous for many individuals, Psychoactive Substances Act, and the continued harmful war on cannabis.

 

Time to end cannabis prohibition

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The current high levels of use and the level of black market activity indicate that the current prohibition regime is not effective in limiting cannabis use. Prohibition results in high conviction rates for a relatively minor offence, inhibiting people’s education, travel and employment opportunities. Prohibition makes targeting education, prevention, harm minimisation and treatment measures difficult because users fear prosecution. It also facilitates the black market and potentially exposes cannabis users to harder drugs.

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So said the Health Select Committee’s report on the inquiry into the legal status of cannabis, in August 2003.

Whatever your take on the health effects of cannabis – and we all have our opinions – it is clear that prohibition has not worked, and a drugs policy re-think is in order.

If the aim of prohibition has been to prevent use, it has failed spectacularly. Despite having the highest cannabis arrest rate in the world, more New Zealanders use cannabis now than ever before. Half of New Zealanders are criminalised by this law. Eighty percent of 21-year-olds have tried cannabis. How many should be arrested before prohibition is judged a success?

Enforcement of cannabis prohibition by the police, courts and prisons cost taxpayers $56 million in 2000. While more than twenty million dollars is spent every year chasing ordinary Kiwis for small amounts of cannabis, treatment services and effective education are struggling or, in places, don’t exist. Furthermore, fear of arrest is the biggest barrier to those seeking help.

Though use is widespread in New Zealand, enforcement of drug laws impacts much harder on Maori, who are five times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than non-Maori.

The present law is a form of institutional racism. Its enforcement alienates police from society and causes enormous harm to the lives, careers and families of more than ten thousand people arrested every year.

Research confirms that drug laws have little effect, if any, on drug use rates, but they do increase or decrease the harms associated with use. Countries that have reformed their laws have not experienced increased use, but have spent millions of dollars less on law enforcement than countries where prohibition remains.

The Dutch, who have allowed the sale of cannabis to adults since 1976, have one-third the per capita usage of New Zealand. In the United Kingdom, teen cannabis use dropped after it was made a non-arrestable offence.

There is no difference in use between those Australian states who have decriminalised cannabis and those that continue to arrest users. The United States also shows no difference between the ten states – representing half the population – who decriminalised in the 1970s and those that did not. Recent analysis of cities in California, Colorado, Washington State and Oregon showed there was no influence of medical cannabis laws on the extent of illegal cannabis use. The researchers said that the “use of the drug by those already sick might ‘de-glamorise’ it and thereby do little to encourage use among others”.

The most commonly voiced concern about ending prohibition centres around the protection of children. However, problems in our schools or communities are made worse under current law, not better. Prohibition promotes a ‘forbidden fruit’ mentality, glamorising cannabis as a token of rebellion. Open and honest communication is made more difficult in an environment of guilt and persecution. The untaxed cannabis economy is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and controlled by whoever is prepared to break the law. Violence and intimidation rule the market, just as was the case under alcohol prohibition in 1930s America.

So what should be done about it?

If we are genuinely committed to harm minimisation, we should immediately repeal cannabis prohibition and investigate the failure of current drugs policy.

Let’s control the way cannabis is used and sold through appropriate regulations such as age limits, health warnings, dosage and packaging controls, marketing restrictions and so forth.

Let’s use cannabis excise taxes to provide effective education about drugs so that people can make responsible and informed choices, and fully fund treatment services for those who need them. Let’s provide enough resources to research the effect of any law changes.

Modern research shows cannabis is an effective and safe medicine for many conditions including cancer, HIV wasting syndrome, glaucoma, chronic pain, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, paraplegia and epilepsy. Let’s allow doctors and patients to decide what treatment is best for them, not politicians or police.

Given the spectacular failure of the current law, the burden of proof should be on prohibitionists to show why we should persist with this expensive and destructive mistake.

·         Chris Fowlie is President of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in New Zealand.

 

 

2 comments:

  1. "Richard and his friend Blogger Mark Hubbard now dwell on the Dark side."

    Oh dear.

    Utilitarianism vs Libertarianism. Socialist pragmatism vs Libertarian Idealism

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    Replies
    1. Have put my response up in comments on Tim's thread. As follows:

      To clarify my position, per my post syndicated here. I am against all prohibition, and against the PSA, because that Act, by law, restricts those who want to keep their jobs, and travel (without criminal convictions) to the truly psychosis forming hard drugs, while keeping the relatively harmless (often medicinal) cannabis criminalised.

      So, yes have syns, LSD, et al legal, it’s our own choice, but not while the ‘best’, as in non-toxic, cannabis is still illegal. I would love the odd Friday night joint, nothing more (so I could grow myself a plant): but I wouldn’t touch anything else, certainly not these dreadful synthetics.

      Also note I make quite plain on my blog I was originally against the PSA because of its animal testing criteria. If I am ever faced with an apparent contradiction between Libertarianism and animal welfare, then I’ll take the latter. On that matter I’m quite prepared to live with a contradiction despite the admonition from a very clever woman to check my premises. Although I don’t personally see a contradiction even in this.

      Finally, per my latest post, I also think this topic defines the arrogance of our current politick, and why we need to rebel against Wellington.

      Love your work, Tim. Your post on motorcycles and budget was spot on.

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