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Toluna

Toluna

  24 months ago

Drug use - is it a criminal issue?
Closed

New Zealand passed the Misuse of Drugs Amendment into law last month, which gives police discretion to take a health-centred approach rather than prosecuting those in possession of drugs such as methamphetamine, heroine and cocaine. This amendment has been hailed as a “a massive leap” towards treating drug use as a health issue, however critics argue that it would essentially decriminalise the possession of class A drugs.

When police find someone in possession of an illicit drug for personal use, the amendment requires them to consider whether prosecution is required or whether a health-centred approach would be more beneficial. Currently thousands of people continue to be convicted each year for minor drug use or possession, and these criminal convictions come at considerable costs to the criminal justice system and taxpayer. In addition, sentencing drug users does little to help or rehabilitate them. It's believed that this new law will result in treatment and other forms of support that change the offenders lives in positive ways, while freeing up the courts and police to focus on more serious drug-related offences and other crimes.

Do you think this is the right approach for drug reform, or is a hard-line "war on drugs" more effective? Should drug use be considered as social and health issue rather than a criminal issue?

Let us know your thoughts on this.
Reply

peterandebony

  24 months ago
Many people use drugs for personal use for many reasons. Relief from pain is a major use, that is why the Government are looking at legalising marijuana. I still believe we need prosecution for hard drug use like heroin, cocaine and other hard party drugs.
0 comments

J4564482k

  24 months ago
Perhaps they need a borstal-style set up, where, say, if you are caught three times, with illicit drugs, you are put in there and have to go through a drug programme? That way, they won't be put in with hardened criminals, and will get some assistance at the same time. In some Asian countries, drug addicts are just thrown in a cell and are made to go cold turkey`'. And in Japan, if you are an entertainer, and are caught with drugs, you don't work again. The actor's scenes must be deleted from the film or show, as well. American actor, Robert Downey Jnr is a huge star in the Western world, but in Japan, he is officially a `persona non grata, because, years before, he had been caught with drugs in his luggage. He went there, a couple of years back, to promote his Iron Man movie, but was held at the border for 6 hours because, as far as they were concerned, he didn't exist. He's never been back to Japan.
0 comments

sez.shirley

  24 months ago
Its a mental Health issue
0 comments

kazza70

  24 months ago
Yes def a step in the right direction. Criminal charges simply compound the problem for many. And being an addict or user does not make a person "bad". Much like with mental illness, and homelessness, there will always be the ignorant and judgemental who have it all boxed and labelled as it being a certain type of person.
Always found it ironic, that if drug tested positive at work, most drug and alcohol workplace policies allow for a second chance and rehabilitation. The police are not called!
0 comments

farside1

  24 months ago
and I agree with that.
0 comments

eddy.gies

  24 months ago
Hard line on trafficking and growing drugs still required in NZ alongside a health centred approach, the costs continue for the tax payer either way and will never be eradicated in society for new drugs etc will become available.
0 comments

brionyjae

  24 months ago
I'm all for a health-centred approach, because I believe that ultimately that's what will help the people addicted to drugs, not continued criminal convictions. Especially if it frees up police to go after the drug dealers - THEY are the true criminals!!
0 comments

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