Sunday, July 11, 2010

More power to Prast

Auckland mayoral candidate, Simon Prast, is a man who understands that drug prohibition only makes matters worse. That is the primary line he has to push. Avoid all the other distractions like drugs are bad for people - agree, for some they are, but they will use despite prohibition. Drugs cause people to commit crime - agree, yes they do, but predominantly because of their illegal status.

I have just finished reading The Spell of Morpheus about drugs and mothers in a NZ city (actually Dunedin but under a fictionalised name). The author interviewed ten mothers on the methadone programme and makes the astute observation that this programme is essentially about protecting drug users from the problems of prohibition. My own research satisfies me that few are actually graduating the programme drug-free. So what else is it for but reducing the ill-effects that criminalisation causes?

And I like the way Prast is highlighting the hypocrisy of government and other self-righteous chest-thumpers. The whole area of drug use (used in its broadest sense) is an inconsistent, unjust, mishmash and the laws as they stand should shoulder far more blame for dysfunction and death than the drugs themselves.

It'd be interesting to hear what the Local Government Minister makes of Mr Prast's stand. There is someone else who, I suspect, has sympathy with the developing call for an end to this stupid war on drugs. The difference is Mr Prast has nothing to lose.


Keeping Stock said...

I couldn't agree more strongly Lindsay. P is evil and insidious, and no amount of seet-talking can hide the damage that P does.

My wife and I have ministered in a community where P use is rife, and we've seen the way that families have been ripped apart, we've seen the random violence, we've even been of the receiving end of crime from the pre-teen children of a P user. We've seen first-hand the desparation of addicts who can't get a fix, and it is frightening.

Prast's efforts to give methamphetamine a nice, middle-class recreational drug image don't match the reality of P. It is a vile drug that brings misery to many, many people. Those who manufacture and sell this drug are parasites, and deserve the full force of the law when caught.

Keeping Stock said...

Sorry - should be "I couldn't DISAGREE more strongly"

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Prast's efforts to give methamphetamine a nice, middle-class recreational drug image don't match the reality of P.

I don't see him doing that;
"I dealt with it before it became a problem because, for some people as we have seen, it's highly addictive."

Redbaiter said...

Just what the hell is an Auckland Mayoral candidate ranting about drugs for?? Jezuz, so much o worry about in Auckland and this guy is focused on what should be a Central Government issue? Nuts. No damn idea.

Anonymous said...

How refreshing to see someone involved in politics who has the guts to stand up and speak about such an unpopular and vote loosing topic.

He is right of course, whether we agree with drug use or not, the simple fact is that prohibition maximizes drug related harm. The only way to fix the drug problem is through health and education, not torture and punishment.

Redbaiter said...

Question for the anti-prohibitionists.

If attempts at prohibition are ineffective, why are there such huge differences between the top and bottom countries on this list-

Anonymous said...

While I agree that prohibition will only make the drug problem worse by putting the drug trade in the hands of criminals.
Prast is a prat and is using the drug argument only to try and get some profile.
What is he going to say about his dealings with ATC.
Naughty, naughty, naughty???