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New Zealand Psychoactive Substance Act 2013 unites prohibitionists & drug law reformers - how?

New Zealand Psychoactive Substance Act 2013 unites prohibitionists & drug law reformers - how? | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

 

 

Julian Buchanan's insight:

Is this a sensible and long overdue move towards drug regulation or is just a clever pragmatic way to end the legalhighs cat and mouse game by prohibiting all unapproved legal highs in one single legislative move?

Does promoting & taxing government approved drugs while policing and punishing government unapproved drugs - sound a familiar model to you? Is that what you'd call regulation? It seems worryingly similar to the present divide between alcohol and cannabis.

This NZ model of 'regulation' was passed with overwhelming support 119 votes to 1. This must reflect a progressive and forward thinking country? I'm afraid not, it reflects a messy Act that has become a bit of a 'pig in a poke'. Prohibitionists supported the Act believing they were banning drugs and keeping nasty legalhighs away from young people while drug reformers thought they were moving forward with regulation. Hear Peter Dunne the Health Minister explain the rationale for Act http://sco.lt/8iv5AP

 

Here is the small print identifying worrying clauses in the NZ Psychoactive Substance Bill that despite a number of protestations (including my written https://www.academia.edu/3487019/Submission_to_Health_Select_Committee_on_NZ_Psychoactive_Substances_Bill_Regulating_Legal_Highs_ and oral submission) were kept in the Act:

Clause 62
Supply of unapproved substance is an offence subject to a max of 2 years prison

Clause 63
Personal possession of any unapproved substance is an offence subject to a max. penalty of $500

Clause 69
Empowers the police or appointed 'Enforcement Officers' to enter premises without a warrant on suspicion of possess with intent to supply an unapproved substances

Clause 11
The Advisory Committee to oversee new approved and unapproved 'legalhighs' specifies only medical personnel 'pharmacology, toxicology, neuroscience & medicine' not mention of drug workers, drug user, sociologist, criminologist etc.

 

It is worth understanding the context of this drug policy to understand how it might be interpreted and delivered. This model of 'regulation' sits alongside New Zealand's 'progressive and forward thinking harm reduction drug policy' that:

a) Has rolled out drug testing people on benefits and will stop the benefit of those who repeatedly test positive

b) Will not prescribe injectable substitute drugs,

c) Has no naloxone distribution

d) Has no drug consumption rooms

e) Promotes employer drug testing

f)  Has just invested $2m on US styled Drug Abstinence Courts.

g) Refuses to allow self medication with raw cannabis and only support pharmaceutical cannabis spray in exceptional cases for patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

 

h) Increased arrests for cannabis supply by 75% between 2011 to 2012

Faced with frustration and cost over endlessly adding new legal highs to the New Zealand Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 has the government pulled off a prohibitionist master stroke and prohibited all legal highs in one move placing the onus (and cost) on the industry?

Of course the government may actually approve and tax some low risk substances which then allows them to sit alongside other government approved drugs (alcohol and tobacco), but this 'regulation' model perpetuates the current failed model - in that possession of anything not approved by the state is prohibited and will be policed and punished.

 

Regulating drugs is much needed and welcomed but policing and punishing people for using substances that are not approved by the State is a retrograde and worrying move. Imagine if the logic was extended to alcohol, food, vitamins and minerals? It should be a human right for people to consume what they want without getting busted by the police.

We need to decouple personal drug use from law enforcement agencies, we need drug regulation but this is not the sort of regulation I welcome nor one to shout about or adopt elsewhere.

Julian Buchanan

 

Link to the Act itself:
http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2013/0053/latest/DLM5043005.html

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MildGreen Initiative's curator insight, June 27, 2015 8:04 PM

Pity they dumped the best *rules in the world for this half baked pandering to fears bullshit.  

Google "restricted substances regulations" 2008  for concise, erudite functional best practice drug policy so boring no one noticed! 

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VIDEO: The Social Construction of Drugs: Stigma & Discrimination CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO

This paper 'Barriers to Recovery: Stigma & Discrimination' given at the New Zealand Drug Policy Symposium 'Through the Maze: Making Treatment Better' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scoqktXn52Q


I argue that the social context is much overlooked in drug dependence, and in this paper I illustrates how problem drug use is to a large extent a social problem, exacerbated by criminalisation, exclusion, stigma and discrimination.

 

If you want to follow the PREZI Slide Presentation (which you are free to copy and use) click here:
http://prezi.com/p3fuglzqymmg/barriers-to-recovery-stigma-discrimination/

 

 

 

Julian Buchanan's insight:

Time to end stigma & discrimination of people who use illegal drugs 

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MildGreen Initiative's comment, March 27, 2015 5:05 PM
And this research ( http://www.alternet.org/how-our-vengeful-society-destroys-vulnerable-people?akid=12937.104214.aaGEgM&rd=1&src=newsletter1033900&t=9 ) reinforces the notion that negative outcomes are a consequence of attitudes, perceptions and prejudices.
Jude Byrne's comment, May 26, 2015 8:23 PM
I love your thinking on this
Julian Buchanan's comment, May 29, 2015 7:45 AM
thx
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What You Call Me Changes Everything About How You Will Treat Me #Stigma

Stop calling me a label. Start calling me a person. When I was 16 I was a person struggling with addiction. Today, I am a person in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs for more than 14 years. That doesn't just sound a bit different -- it feels different.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

If this PowerPoint on stigma is useful - free free to download and use:
http://www.slideshare.net/JulianBuchanan/sdf-stigma-julian-buchanan

 

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How Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Laws Put Regular People in Prison for Life

How Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Laws Put Regular People in Prison for Life | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
If you rub elbows with big-time drug dealers, you can get sentenced to decades behind bars thanks to laws passed at the height of the drug panic in the 1980s.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Drug laws have changed the nature and relationship between the public and police

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One Chart Reveals How the War on Drugs Has Hit a Disturbing New Low

One Chart Reveals How the War on Drugs Has Hit a Disturbing New Low | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

The results are in and they're not looking good. The FBI released its Uniform Crime Report for 2014 on Monday, revealing nearly 40% of drug-related arrests were for marijuana possession alone. Not for cooking meth in your bathtub. Not for manufacturing or selling marijuana — just for carrying some. 

The estimated number of arrests for 2014 was 11,205,833, with nearly 14% or that — or 1,561,231 arrests — accounting for drug abuse violations. The following, therefore, is a rough estimate and comparison of the number of drug-related arrests since 2009. Though overall arrests are trending down, the proportion of drug-related arrests has been steadily rising.

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Why You Shouldn't Trust What the Police Say About Drugs | VICE by @Narcomania

British police have a long history of spreading disinformation about illegal drugs, which – in the long run – doesn't help anyone.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Logically, given their expertise, focus and training, it seems really odd that the police issue public statements concerning risks posed by drugs

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CVS Pharmacy Set to Expand Naloxone Drug Reversing Effect of Heroin Overdoses - NBC News

CVS Pharmacy Set to Expand Naloxone Drug Reversing Effect of Heroin Overdoses - NBC News | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

Some say making the drug available without a prescription over the counter is the wrong approach.

Julian Buchanan's insight:

Naloxone distribution is a no brainer
The barriers are prejudice, discrimination and misinformation - not science, evidence or reason.
https://julianbuchanan.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/new-zealand-presents-a-robust-argument-for-naloxone-along-with-loop-holes-to-exploit/

 

 

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Human rights in Latin America being decimated by drug war, warns new report

Human rights in Latin America being decimated by drug war, warns new report | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
The Center for Legal Social Studies (CELS) recently released a publication, entitled The Impact of Drug Policy on Human Rights, which has shed light upon some of the deep erosions of civil liberties and human rights that have been justified by the War on Drug...
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Drug Policy Alliance Applauds Pharmacy for Making Naloxone Available Without a Prescription

SAN FRANCISCO— The Drug Policy Alliance is applauding CVS/pharmacy for being the first chain pharmacy in California to stock and sell the opiate overdose reversal drug naloxone without a prescription. More than 50 CVS/pharmacy stores in California will make the lifesaving drug available to friends and family members of people at risk of an opiate overdose. This new program is a direct result of the passage of Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s AB 1535, which was co-sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance and the California Pharmacists Association. The bill was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014. The full list of participating pharmacies can be found at www.naloxoneCA.org.

 
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Respect!
Struggling to get naloxone even mentioned in New Zealand let alone distributed but we’ll keep the pressure on https://julianbuchanan.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/new-zealand-presents-a-robust-argument-for-naloxone-along-with-loop-holes-to-exploit/

 

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More Prison Time For Drug Offenders. STUDY - 36% longer for drug offenders in USA

https://youtu.be/Wz8Frwd0da8
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Operation Naked King: U.S. Secretly Targeted Bolivia's Evo Morales In Drug Sting

Operation Naked King: U.S. Secretly Targeted Bolivia's Evo Morales In Drug Sting | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has secretly indicted top officials within and connected to the government of Bolivian President Evo Morales for their alleged involvement in a cocaine trafficking scheme.
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The US state where road fatalities have plummeted since marijuana was legalised

The US state where road fatalities have plummeted since marijuana was legalised | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Since Colorado voters legalised pot in 2012, prohibition supporters have warned that recreational marijuana will lead to a scourge of “drugged divers” on the state’s roads. They often point out that when the state legalized medical marijuana in 2001, there was a surge in drivers found to have smoked pot. They also point to studies showing that in other states that have legalized pot for medical purposes, we’ve seen an increase in the number of drivers testing positive for the drug who were invol
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Hhhmmm and all that support to demonise drivers who tested positive for the presence of cannabis (probably taken days, weeks or even a  month ago), and the portrayal of cannabis users as stupid and irresponsible pot heads: 

See the brilliantly acted but insulting and arguably racist:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7ZSLeiiliE

 and this public information on the 'stupid pot heads'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UbARVx-cq8

 

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Johann Hari on the Aussie ice mess, and a better way forward

Johann Hari on the Aussie ice mess, and a better way forward | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
'When you end the drug war, you can reduce the small amount of violence caused by drug users, and end the huge amount of violence caused by drug dealers.'
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VIDEO 7mins: I Am A Naloxone Advocate #OD15 Is it available in your country?

The Scottish Naloxone programme has worked with many fantastic Peer Educators over the years, who tirelessly give their time to train people across the count...
Julian Buchanan's insight:

No Naloxone = No Excuse!
In New Zealand we keep campaigning - trying hard to get it on the agenda:
https://julianbuchanan.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/new-zealand-presents-a-robust-argument-for-naloxone-along-with-loop-holes-to-exploit/

 

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Explain why Human rights must be central to drug policy

Explain why Human rights must be central to drug policy | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

An accessible but comprehensive primer on why TNI believes that human rights must be at the heart of any debate on drug control

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Chain Gang 2.0: If You Can’t Afford This GPS Ankle Bracelet, You Get Thrown In Jail

Chain Gang 2.0: If You Can’t Afford This GPS Ankle Bracelet, You Get Thrown In Jail | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Some states now require people to pay for their own electronic monitoring once they bail out of jail. And if you miss a payment, you better watch out.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

The ever expanding business opportunities in controlling the poor

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First of its Kind Study Finds Virtually No Driving Impairment Under the Influence of Cannabis

As expected, there was impairment in all areas when alcohol and cannabis were mixed. But cannabis itself, when taken in moderate amounts, seems to cause no significant driving impairment.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

So much money and effort put into drug driving campaigns to reduce fatal accidents  - when the real causes largely go under the radar (such as driving while tired, while eating, drinking, texting or telephoning)

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Global drug problem violates human rights in 5 key areas - UN official calls for decriminalisation

Global drug problem violates human rights in 5 key areas - UN official calls for decriminalisation | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

The global drug problem violates human rights in five key areas – the right to health, the rights relating to criminal justice and discrimination, the rights of the child and the rights of indigenous peoples, a senior United Nations official said today ....UN’s call on States to consider decriminalizing possession and use of drugs “because criminalization of possession and use has been shown to cause significant obstacles to the right to health.”.

Julian Buchanan's insight:

The Drug War haze is finally beginning to clear, but we need to abolish it completely.

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Lifesaving UK legislation to improve naloxone access for faster response to opiate OD by @HL_GavinBenn

Lifesaving UK legislation to improve naloxone access for faster response to opiate OD by @HL_GavinBenn | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

This means under the new law a drug treatment service could supply Naloxone to a hostel manager or outreach worker and they could then administer it in a lifesaving situation. Although the attempt to widen access to Naloxone is welcome, crucially (and somewhat disappointingly) what the new legislation doesn’t do is allow homelessness staff to dispense “take home Naloxone” in the same way treatment services can i.e. to users and carers etc. to use in the event of an overdose. Considering hostel/outreach staff are likely not to be present at the point of overdose, those critical minutes until they are could potentially be lost.

Julian Buchanan's insight:

We have a long way to go in New Zealand on naloxone https://julianbuchanan.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/new-zealand-presents-a-robust-argument-for-naloxone-along-with-loop-holes-to-exploit/

 

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FDA Says Walnuts Are Drugs – Your News Wire

FDA Says Walnuts Are Drugs – Your News Wire | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
According to the U.S. food and drug administration (FDA), walnuts are drugs which may be subject to a drug-specialized screening process before being allowed onto the market. Well this at least appears to be the case for Diamond Foods, a company started by a small group of Californian... #fda
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Jana Juniper Gee, Cannabis News Radio, Talks to Julian Buchanan about Drug Reform

Julian discusses the concept of the drug apartheid, drug policy harm, decriminalisation, legalisation and strategies for change.
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When the Womb Is a Crime Scene #TheDrugWarComesHome

Alabama has turned hundreds of pregnant women into felons for using drugs – even when they’re legal and the kids turn out fine.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Disturbing ....an insight into how the drug war is shifting from being a crime problem to a health problem  ...the war will continue!
 

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Do Adults Have a Privacy Right to Use Drugs? Brazil’s Supreme Court Decides

Do Adults Have a Privacy Right to Use Drugs? Brazil’s Supreme Court Decides | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
“The idea is that drug usage, if there is a harm, is only self-injury, only harms the individual and thus cannot be the object of state punishment.”
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Study on the impact of the world drug problem on the enjoyment of human rights

Study on the impact of the world drug problem on the enjoyment of human rights | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Study on the impact of the world drug problem on the enjoyment of human rights, and recommendations on respect for and the protection and promotion of human rights in the context of the world drug problem.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Drug Laws Must be Centred Upon Protecting Human Rights and Promoting Harm Reduction

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THESIS: The role of peer drug users’ social networks and harm reduction programs in changing the dynamics of life for people who use drugs

THESIS: The role of peer drug users’ social networks and harm reduction programs in changing the dynamics of life for people who use drugs | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Julian Buchanan's insight:

User involvement, user empowerment, user voice and user led services, policies and laws are even more crucial in the new order.

The user voice, once championed and promoted by the pressure group NGO is increasingly 'lost in translation’ as NGOs need to please government to continue to secure funding 

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DISTURBING DEVELOPMENTS: Drug Free Detention Centres for compulsory 'treatment'?

DISTURBING DEVELOPMENTS: Drug Free Detention Centres for compulsory 'treatment'? | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
A pilot program will help substance abusers get treatment where they might otherwise land – in the county jail.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

More worrying because New Zealand Drug Policy 2015-20 includes a commitment for Compulsory Assessment and Compulsory Treatment of Addiction Act

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Jocelyn Stoller's curator insight, September 3, 2015 3:26 AM

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