Reforming New Zealand’s Misuse of Drugs Act 1975

The New Zealand Law Commission today released “Controlling and Regulating Drugs” which reviews the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.

The NZ Drug Foundation has an overview of some of the salient points. More comment from us later after we’ve had a chance to read the report ourselves, but at least they recognised how antiquated the law is, being drafted in the wake of moral panic about psychedelics.

In the mean time, I invite you to head over to read the documents yourself and have your say. Please make a submission or comment if you feel the current drug laws are ineffective at dealing with what we feel should be a health and education issue.

2 replies on “Reforming New Zealand’s Misuse of Drugs Act 1975”

  1. Rich says:

    I’ve read most of it and had a few comments.

    The report makes a lot of NZ being bound by immutable international conventions, noting that while countries such as Switzerland which have written constitutions are able to adjust their drug laws to match their constitutions, NZ cannot. Well, we have one very firm constitutional rule, which is that a parliament cannot bind its successors. So even though a past NZ parliament might have agreed to the convention, that doesn’t mean that a future one is bound by that.

    There’s also a whole lot about ERMA that’s based on a false premise that because a substance is psychoactive, it’s automatically “toxic” as defined under hazardous substances law. That isn’t the case: ERMA has clear criteria based around measured lethal doses and the like as to what is toxic. It also works on the basis that substances are not intended for ingestion. I’m sure someone hasn’t discussed this properly or didn’t understand what they were being told.

    (Interestingly, one moral thing this raises is that most of what is known about drugs is from tests on Cute Fluffy Animals. Would you (esp. if vegan or whatever) take drugs if you knew that such tests had been performed?)

  2. Don’t worry, the government has told them to fuck off anyway. Same old, same old.

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