The issues surrounding liquor and violence in Canterbury can be roundly brought into the local perspective where we have seen Police District Commander (and relevant officers in charge of the inner city and alcohol laws) participate in the NATIONAL Party (MP Nicky Wagner) city crime/violence meeting at the Limes Room (Town Hall) followed recently by his participation at the LABOUR (MP wannabe Brendan Burns) meeting on Alcohol Policy. Mayor Parker participated as well but seemingly continues to be offended (I wont meet with you while you say nasty things about me) by the writers call 'that inner city property developer David Henderson, whose developments are characterised by a Bar on every corner was his primary, some say sole, election funder'.
Why should the District Commander meet and discuss 'drug policy' ? (a) because he said he would listen to the community. (b) the implementation of zero tolerance intersects with drug policy (c) there is a national debate and a bill before the house (d) there is an international debate and ten year UN review (e) and the NZ LAW COMMISSION is examining drug laws and the respective UN international conventions.Why is he not willing or prepared to do so?
A birdy tells me the excuse is 'it's to close to the election'.
Retiring Christchurch Central MP Tim Barnett said several years ago that "the centre of NZ's drug reform is in Canterbury". It is sincerely hoped that our District Commander gives some respect and equity to this issue and accepts public delegations as he has committed to do. He may recall a comment heard at both of the recent political huis - Our NATIONAL DRUG POLICY formulation documents highly recommended a holistic approach such that failure to address this in a 'communitarian all drug' context was just continuing pithing into the wind.
The Canterbury POLICE are participants in and signatories to "HEALTHY CHRISTCHURCH" and its principles embodied word for word in the Ottawa Charter.
Or is he (and his ilk) addicted to the 'drug war' funding?
Somewhat ironically, MP and Minister of Commerce Lianne Dalziel was at the last 'its acohol' meeting, and she is a 'cost benefits' kinda gal. It may yet be Canterbury at the centre of the drug policy maelstrom! Those who think otherwise may regale but we have here the best research 'evidence based' engine and data in the Otago School of Medicine's longitudinal and multidisciplinary studies.
We are an educated lot, its in our nature and heritage, and Police have a precedent in having had this discussion some ten years ago with both then Acting District Commanders Dave Haslett and Paul Fitzharris. It was generally agreed that were a enlightened social directive to treat cannabis either as a 'lowest possible priority' or by 'means other than arrest' it should logically apply consistently to the whole South Island. But that was before HEALTHY CHRISTCHURCH.
Canterbury is the global home to the Needle Exchange (NEPS) and by dint of its uptake of Party Pills' the Anderton GoodFriday2004 "Class D" legislative model for controlled drugs. We are as it were "at the cutting edge of reform' - like it or not.