Monday 22 February 2010

Law Commission on Drugs

Will DeCleene is blogging his way through the Law Commission's report on drug policy. He's finished the Intro, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2; future chapters will likely be found at this tag. An early highlight:
But if John Key can perform backward somersaults over GST rises, he can damned well change his mind on drug reform too. Facts change, eh. And the Law Commission paper is full of facts.

F'instance, did you know that the first drug law in NZ one hundred years ago was very thinly-disguised racism? Or that although current laws allow cultivation and research licences of these restricted drugs, there are only 21 research licences in NZ at present, and no cultivation licence has ever been issued? Or that the law allows a Minister of Health to withdraw a person's prescribed medication without their doctor's agreement or even directly contradicting the doctor's advice?
On my quick skim of this and my rather more thorough read of the earlier alcohol report, it feels like LC really wants much tighter restrictions on alcohol and loosening up on marijuana such that, ex post, marijuana is no more tightly regulated than alcohol. But they pull their punches sufficiently on the drugs report that it's more likely that the gap between alcohol and marijuana is closed by increased restrictions on the former than by any easing of restrictions on the latter.

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