Saturday, May 10, 2008

Labour, National and Jim Anderton - well done

Three words - TOLD YOU SO.
"A dramatic increase in people being admitted to hospital with severe reactions to party pills has experts calling for urgent action... Dozens of new pills flooded the market last month, replacing BZP varieties whose sale was banned from April 1. "BZP really didn't make much of an impact in Wellington, but certainly over the past few weekends we've noticed a change," Dr Quigley said."
(Dr Quigley is a Wellington Hospital emergency doctor)
Banning BZP worked didn't it? You're all so clever aren't you? However with all three Labour parties (Anderton and Key lead the others) cheerleading prohibition, don't expect a backdown. No. Anderton is already calling for the burden of proof of safety to shift to manufacturers. Of course if it weren't for ACC, they could be sued for negligence, but none of the major parties are going to confront that little reason why New Zealand is a haven for trying out products are they?
You see unlike virtually every other country in the world, with the abolition of the right to sue for personal injury by accident, it makes New Zealand a soft touch for manufacturers. ACC socialises the negligence of others, and undermines an insurance market whereby manufacturers (and the public) would pay according to risk.
So banning something creates market demand for something else, which happens to be less safe, no doubt all those pills will be banned now, though it will take another couple of years. Meanwhile shifting the burden of proof to manufacturers will have implications for the vitamin and alternative remedies sector as well.
Clint Heine reminds us that Damien O'Connor predicted party pills would disappear, and most of you still trust 30-40% of your income with these people to buy you healthcare, pensions and your kids education?


Anonymous said...

The stupidity of humans never ceases to amaze me.

So lets look at what is happening:-
1. Shady people are making money out of you - they really don't have your interests at heart.
2. You want to party - but cannot seem to get enough out of life without chemical enhancement.
3. You consume something that you have no clue about what it is made of or what the short or long term consequences are.
4. The tax-payer has to pay for your treatment for a self inflicted illness.

Now could you imagine that if some therapeutic medication went through no controls such as animal testing and then strictly supervised human testing and then was reviewed by just about every agency in the USA and by our on Medicines Council. Can you imagine the outcry if some such medicine was then given to unsuspecting patients, by uncaring doctors who just want to make millions, and then it caused a wave of side effects filling our under resourced, over full ED's?

BTW this argument should also be applied to over the counter 'herbal' medicines and supplements.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on being blog of the week in Herald on Sunday again Scott.

It will be a happy day when libertarians decry drugs as evil as Rand certainly did.

You can still say banning doesn't work, but abhor narcotics. Libz won't say that cuz they see votes in being pro-drug. PC, for example, has *never* said drugs are evil.

You seem a decent fellow. I do work with Police Youth Aid, and I wonder if you would stand up at a Youth Family Conference and say that filling your boots with drugs is ok as long as you are over 18. That the family and other victims don't matter. That it is a victimless crime.

Or would you quote Rand, and say that drugs are evil and do immeasurable damage to society.

Libertyscott said...

Ruth, Thank you.

I'm willing to engage on this because I have seen both sides. I've seen people destroyed by it, I've also seen people who live peaceful productive lives despite occasional drug taking, there are also those cases of use of cannabis to relieve pain. I don't abhor drugs but I have mixed feelings about them. Clearly they are destructive to many people, but others use them for relatively short periods of their lives with low negative effects - the Economist made this point some years ago.

The status quo doesn't work, I read an article once by a Libertarianz member suggested that legalising drugs was not the first step but would follow other changes (healthcare, education, ACC), which makes sense to me.

I don't think regularly taking mind altering substances is clever or the best way to live one's life, and can be so easily destructive, but what you are talking about is addiction. Addiction IS evil and destructive, whether it be alcohol, drugs or also sex, gambling, spending money, food issues and the like. I am very aware of that.

Changing drug laws needs to appreciate the cultural change required at the same time. I don't want people I know being imprisoned for quietly having a joint at home, but I don't also want drug use to take off exponentially.

It is not OK, it is risky and no one who advocates legalisation should pretend that this is not about dangerous substances.

Anonymous said...

"You can still say that banning doesn't work, but abhor narcotics. Libz won't say that, because they see votes in being pro-drug".

Ruth, that is not correct. Being opposed to prohibition is not the same as being "pro-drug" - inasmuch as being opposed to abortion is not the same as being against pro-choice.

Only a fool would suggest that the drug abuse problem is not growing exponentially - and targetting children, in particular. Criminal gangs don't give a damn for your kids; hell, they don't seem to give a damn for their own. It is the *illegality* of the supply and distribution that provides them with their evil platform.

It was Nixon who kicked off "the war on drugs", describing them as a scourge. No argument with the description AFAIC. But, as Milton Friedman pointed out over the years, the state efforts to combat the scourge have been worse than useless, in spite of the enormous money spent, while the 'scourge' escalates at will.

Nixon made those comments 35 odd yrs ago. Talk about an unwinnable war. Kind of puts Iraq in perspective, eh ....