We had the Drug Foundations Ross Bell on earlier in the show, claiming a study they've done, with questions commissioned by the Helen Clark Foundation showing support for cannabis legalisation at 50 percent.
Here's my problem with that - two independent surveys recently showed support for cannabis reform dropping to 39 percent, and yet the Drug Foundation.. an organisation propped up with government funding, with vested political interests acting as a lobby group for reform, magically produce a new survey showing support for it increases to 50, 'when people are more informed'.
What does that mean? More informed by a certain bias? Well yes.
According to the Foundation, 'more informed' means telling people about the controls and rules in the draft legislation, but does not include giving real life examples like the recent spike in the black market in Canada, and the huge problem with crime and the increase in youth use and addiction rates in Colorado.
That's not what the Drug Foundation regards as 'informing'.
And by the way, whose doing the educating and informing campaigns on our drug reform?
The Drug Foundation's one of them. They're currently advertising a campaign organiser job touting '30 weeks to win on cannabis' at 72 grand a year (pro rata).
So how seriously can we take this?
And let's look at the mixed messages.. when Customs made a record drug bust of three tonnes of illegal drugs last year, the Drug Foundation’s Ross Bell came out and said, ironically, that if the government wants a drop in drug use, the focus needs to be on.. "stopping people from starting"… he said.
And yet, this is the very same man who supports pushing go on cannabis reform.
No matter what the naysayers might tell you, cannabis is often a gateway to harder drugs.. and yet the very person running the Drug Foundation in this country, says we should press go on legalising it.
For people who purport to want to prevent Kiwis taking up drugs, legalising cannabis is not the way to go about it.
Because it’s not just about points of law and control arguments inside wordy legislation, it’s about the perception and the reality.
The message it sends to our most vulnerable.. teenagers and addicts.. that low level drug use is fine. And then what?
When they’ve moved onto the heavier stuff, are we suddenly expected to swing in with our taxpayer funded education programmes, and our mental health funding, and our rehabilitation care centres, and our already run ragged counselling services and go, oh whoops, not those drugs, sorry.
If the Drug Foundation’s own Ross Bell says a drop in drug use in this country is about.. 'focusing on stopping people from starting,' why then, do him and his supporters, want to open the door to cannabis?