[Daily Blog reposts] The new prohibitionists

This post was originally published at The Daily Blog on 11 April 2013.

Above all else, there’s nothing I hate more than someone who lies about their intention.  It’s the one redeeming thing about, say, rabid antichoicers who accept that people who get abortions should be imprisoned for murder: their beliefs are reprehensible, but at least they’re consistent, and don’t try to pass laws saying, say, “we just want to regulate the evil babykilling industry so it’s safe!”

Which is basically the line Peter Dunne is trying to sell in this media release about “legal highs”:

Today is the beginning of the end of an unregulated legal highs industry, and young New Zealanders will be the safer for it

Because you see, the problem is that a lot of whacked-out shit is getting sold in party pill format, and it’s untested, and this can end badly, and as someone just catching up with season 1 of Banshee I have no real disagreement with that premise.

But dig just the teensiest bit deeper?

The Bill will replace the temporary class drug notice regime that has been in place since August 2011.

It has done its job very well, taking 33 substances and as a result, more than 50 products off the market, but it was only ever a holding regime until we could get this law in place.”

Now, I may be completely missing the point here, but I was personally under the impression that you regulate things so that the unsafe things are taken away and the proven-safe things are permitted to be sold, albeit perhaps limited to grown-ups.  But for some reason, Peter Dunne’s press release doesn’t talk about how many substances have been tested or evaluated, just how many have been taken off the market, as though that’s the real measure of success.

And that is, in fact, a pretty different kettle of fish.

I mean, I’m not at all surprised that Dunne’s real focus is the killing off of all fun, I just wish he wasn’t co-opting ideas about sensible regulation and liberality in allowing adults to make informed choices to sell it.

Advertisements