Solving Kronic problems

When asked if she’d ever smoked cannabis, Helen Clark replied that she’d been an Auckland student in the 6os. That was taken to mean yes.

I don’t know if that is a reflection on the decade or the university but I was an Otago student in the 70s and had nothing to do with the taking or not of illegal drugs.

I smelt marijuana a few times, knew people who smoked it occasionally and had I tried to find some I probably could have. But I didn’t and, at least in the circles I frequented, smoking pot was not the norm.

But the idea that everyone did it and that smoking illicit substances is normal still persists which might be partly responsible for the problem of  synthetic cannabinoids. In spite of sales being restricted to people 18 and over, Kronic and similar substances are fairly freely available to younger teens.

However, that is about to change. Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced that cabinet has approved legislation which will ban synthetic cannabis products.

Cabinet has today approved amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill that will take Kronic and other synthetic cannabis products off the market for 12 months while the Government works on its detailed response to the Law Commission’s recent report, he said.

The Government has already signalled that it is looking at the Law Commission recommendation to reverse the onus of proof and require the industry to prove its products are safe.

The current Bill allowing the temporary bans is expected to pass into law this week, he said.

“We are going to create temporary class drug orders that will allow me to place a 12-month ban on these currently unregulated psychoactive substances and any new ones that come along.

“The bottom line is that these products are generally untested and we do not know the long-term effects of their use and we are not about to just let it all happen and pick up damaged young people at the end,” Mr Dunne said.

Previous legislation banned particular drugs. This time it will cover any unregulated drugs and reverse the onus of proof so that the safety of any new substances will have to be proved before they can be sold legally.

This will almost certainly create a black market but it will also send a strong signal that there’s nothing normal about selling mind-damaging substances, especially those aimed at young people.

6 Responses to Solving Kronic problems

  1. robertguyton says:

    Oh Ele!

    “send a strong signal that there’s nothing normal about selling mind-damaging substances, especially those aimed at young people.”

    The Kronic people are to be required by law to prove that their products are safe before they can be offered to the market.
    In a parallel universe, the tobacco people and the alcohol people are to be required by law to prove that their products are safe before they can be offered to the market.

    You can see the double standard Ele, tell me you can!

    Like

  2. Andrei says:

    I don’t know, somehow we have made life so empty and dreary that some people need to use drugs to escape it.

    And often it seems that our elected, appointed and appointed officials are on a mission to make it even more empty and dreary if they can.

    Like

  3. robertguyton says:

    Psych Milt at No Minister says: (this will help you with that ‘double standards’ thing Ele)

    Stuff, 2 August 2011:
    Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne yesterday announced a 12-month ban on 43 legal highs, which will be in force by the end of the week.

    NZ Medical Journal, 25 November 2005:
    Mr Dunne has described the efforts in New Zealand to prevent the sale of tobacco to underage children as ‘fascist’, and tobacco control spending as a ‘scandalous waste of money in pursuit of some health zealots’ beady eyed political correctness.’ Mr Dunne also described the 2003 New Zealand legislation for smokefree bars as ‘extremism’.

    Draw your own conclusion as to whom this public servant is actually serving.

    Like

  4. Lindsay says:

    How can you title the post “solving Kronic problems” and follow that with “This will almost certainly create a black market”?

    Black markets aren’t problems?

    Like

  5. homepaddock says:

    Robert, yes I can see the double standard but alcohol and tobacco have been round for centuries and alcohol used in moderation by adults does little or no harm.

    I disagree with Dunne on that quote. Very, very few people take up smoking as adults. Making it more difficult for children to get tobacco is the best way to get rid of it.

    Lindsay, black markets are problems – the headline would have been better with a question mark.

    Like

  6. robertguyton says:

    Dunne is duplicitious but aside from that, those who thrill to National’s ‘tough stance’ are being suckered. Both Dunne and Key have just created a new and significant black market for drugs that have already established themselves in the community. That’s stupid but hey, back to the start of this comment…

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: