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Welcome to 2007 and the first edition of our new look Matters of Substance quarterly.
It’s no secret that alcohol and drug issues are complex, and policy responses and solutions aren’t always simple or palatable. In keeping with tradition, Matters of Substance aims to be an honest broker in those policy debates while remaining staunchly committed to the Drug Foundation’s fundamental principles.
This means we will advocate for drug policies and practices based on the best evidence available which promote harm minimisation and reduce inequalities. We will publish arguments, discussions and new evidence on current and emerging alcohol and drug policy issues to that end, and we won’t apologise for taking a strong editorial position.
Matters of Substance will include local and international stories written by Drug Foundation staff, freelance journalists and others with topic specific knowledge. We’ll include regular features, such as guest editorials, and introduce new ones. Mythbusters, for example, will regularly unpick the hype, hysteria and fictions often found around drug policy debates (especially those covered in the press).
In our first edition we take a look at the medicinal use of cannabis in New Zealand, the legal status of party pills, drug classification in the UK, and the Mythbusters unpick ‘P-laced pot’. We have briefs on the regulation of alcohol advertising, a possible fair trade breach by Big Tobacco, alcohol and pregnancy, and the Healing Our Spirit Worldwide gathering. Charles Henderson outlines his vision for the future of needle exchanges, and Doug Sellman pulls no punches in his essay on the human and social reasons why drugs are always likely to have a ‘bright future’.
Matters of Substance invited Doug’s contribution after seeing him present similar thoughts to the Interagency Committee on Drugs as they considered their strategic plan for implementing the new National Drug Policy. While the new policy hasn’t been released yet, it appears its priority plans will include a focus on drug education, updating the alcohol strategy, and developing a Drug Harm Index for New Zealand. Matters of Substance will keep you updated on those projects.
NB Over 10 years the Drug Foundation has published 500 articles in the Matters of Substance magazine. Half of these stories are available here as webpages, and the rest are in PDF format only (download February 2007 copy xx MB).
Please get in touch if you have difficulty accessing a story you want to read, via Contact us.