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Letter To Judith Collins about Gangs

I was forwarded this beautifully written email to our Police Minister and wanted to share it, as I feel it sums up exactly the issues NZ faces with it’s draconian cannabis prohibition law.

——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject: Gangs
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2016 11:58:56 +1300
From: [redacted]
To: judith.collins@parliament.govt.nz

 

Judith Collins MP
Police Minister
kia ora Judith
I saw on parliament TV yesterday, that the Govt. is looking to try & 
resolve 'the gang problem'. May I suggest, you take a radical shift away 
from, the standard response of 'get tough, lock them up' etc.
The main source of their income is supposedly illegal drugs (mostly 
cannabis ?). Maybe it was time that Aotearoa/NZ looked to changes 
occurring overseas; Australia, Canada, parts of EU & several states in 
USA. They are moving from the outdated, zero-tolerance approach, to 
decriminalisation & legal regulation (similar to Alcohol). License the 
drug cultivation & supply (R18) to registered manufacturers & TAX it. 
This would bolster the total revenue take, this could then be put back 
into Education, employment & other social services.
I read that in these other countries, use rates decline after they made 
changes & the 'novelty wore off'. Prohibition actually creates the 
'mystique' that attracts rebellious youth/people to drugs, not away. It 
is increasingly been seen that, as with Alcohol in 1920s USA (Al Capone 
etc.), prohibition creates black-markets, gangsters & corruption, that 
are the main issues around 'the Gangs of Aotearoa'.
Alcohol prohibition in USA was repealed in 1933 as a total failure & 
replaced with 'legal regulation', that continues today.
There is an old saying 'If you fail to learn from the mistakes of the 
past, you are doomed to repeat them' & we repeat them we have !
just my 10c worth
cheers
[redacted]
Citizen & Voter of NZ
Advocate for law reform :-)