A chap called Mike Sabin is making the rounds of the country's impressionable parents, politicians and pedagogues, telling them that to fix the country's drug scourge we need to get even more authoritarian on the War on Drug Users than we already are. The War on Drug Users that Annette King was open enough to admit a few weeks ago that we're losing.
A few days ago Mr Sabin was briefing parliament on the "Drug epidemic" -- a briefing the pollies were lapping up like dying men in a desert -- offering what Russell Brown calls a "miracle cure for all drug problems." The cure includes:
- Recognising that cannabis is a "gateway drug" that must be expunged from use;
- Proposing a Drug Tzar who reports only to the Prime Minister (ie., with no outside oversight or governance);
- Compulsory drug testing in schools and workplaces;
- A system where friends and family dob in users to the police for compulsory rehabilitation
... and much, much more..
Apparently the bare bones of the cure (which sounds far worse than the disease) is based on what Sabin says is the successful Montana Meth Project in the States.
If you think this all sounds either too good to be true (or too authoritarian to be taken seriously) then you'd be right, as Russell Brown's successful fisking of the Montana Meth Project and the rest of Mr Sabin's proposals demonstrates. This isn't a new front on the War on Drug Users -- it's the same failing War on Drugs in which the real damage is done by the War on Drugs itself.
If Russell doesn't convince you, just give some thought to what a Prime Minister like Helen Clark could do with an open-ended brief to conduct a covert War on selected New Zealanders -- a War conducted without any oversight or governance except by Heather Simpson... and there you have the bare bones of every War on Drugs ever conducted.