Labour violins play but ovation must wait

NZ Herald 15 December 2018
Family First Comment: Excellent commentary on Labour’s shoddy law making around both medicinal marijuana and drug policy…
Medicinal – “You had to read the news reports carefully to notice that a great deal of work on the bill, now law, has still to be done. “Little” details such as, what cannabis products? How will people know they are effective? Who will be allowed to make them? How are you going to restrict them to people genuinely in pain or terminally ill?.. Until they can work them out the legislation does almost nothing, it’s just a statute of intention.”
Drug Policy – “(Police) Discretion works well enough in practice but how do you define it in law? More hard work for somebody else.”
“Maybe this Government is using medical legalisation to soften the electorate for general decriminalisation before we get a referendum on that issue. Is that the kind of dishonesty we are dealing with? I prefer to think not…”
Hmmm.

Labour governments have one habit that annoys me intensely. They love to trumpet big liberal social advances without doing the hard work. The last Labour Government made an art-form of this and the present one is shaping up to be just the same.

This week its Health Minister, David Clark, moved the final reading of the bill legalising medicinal cannabis and hailed it as “compassionate and progressive” legislation that would make a difference to people living in pain and nearing the end of their lives. You could almost hear the violins playing in Labour minds and see the wistful look in their eyes as they imagined this moment in a movie made for audiences susceptible to simplified social history.

You had to read the news reports carefully to notice that a great deal of work on the bill, now law, has still to be done. “Little” details such as, what cannabis products? How will people know they are effective? Who will be allowed to make them? How are you going to restrict them to people genuinely in pain or terminally ill?

All those questions, and more, have been passed to officials in the Ministry of Health. Until they can work them out the legislation does almost nothing, it’s just a statute of intention. Labour governments tend to love those.

It annoys me intensely because it is dishonest. Not just politically, but intellectually dishonest, which you would not expect Labour people to be. I don’t understand how they can take pride in acts of principle that leave so many practical difficulties demanding answers.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12177188

Its up to Parliament not Police to decide drug law
KiwiBlog 15 December 2018 
“There is concern about some aspects of the government announcement. It has an air of drug reform on the fly, rather than a more considered debate and informed legislation. I am worried that by codifying police discretion the Government is potentially asking officers to be the spearhead of decriminalisation. If decriminalisation is what Parliament wants, then that’s what the law should say.” – Police Association.
READ MORE: https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2018/12/its_up_to_parliament_not_police_to_decide_drug_law.html

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