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26 October

Regulation: The Responsible Control of Drugs - public talk

11:00am - 12:30pm

University of Auckland, Faculty of Medicine, 85 Park Road, Grafton. AMRF Lecture Theatre.

Organiser: Global Commission on Drug Policy, University of Auckland, NZ Drug Foundation

The talk was recorded by the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. Watch now: nzdrug.org/gcdp-akl-live

Governments should be considering how to introduce responsible regulation of currently illegal drugs, says the Global Commission on Drug Policy in a bold new report. At this public talk in Auckland two members of the Global Commission will outline how regulation is rapidly moving from theory to practical reality.

In the report Regulation: The Responsible Control of Drugs  the Commission tackles stumbling blocks in public debate on regulation. The case is made for governments to take control of illegal drug markets and thereby weaken criminal organisations that now profit from them. 

Two Commissioners who will present are:

Rt Hon Helen Clark, former NZ Prime Minister and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland and Minister of Home Affairs, Chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

The session is being chaired by Professor Benedikt Fischer. the newly created Hugh Green Foundation Chair in Addiction Research in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland.

Make no mistake, transitioning from illegal to legally regulated markets comes with many challenges. However, the big question Commission chair Ruth Dreifuss asks is: who should assume the control of these substances that bear serious risks for health – the state or organised crime?”

Commissioners denounce the significant “collateral damage” caused by the 50-year “war on drugs”. They say the need to regulate is overwhelmingly strong.

There is a real opportunity in Aotearoa New Zealand to push for genuine reform of drug law based on public health principles. Change has never been needed more. In the last year, 40-45 deaths have been attributed to dangerous synthetic cannabinoids and the scars from unhealthy methamphetamine use are visible in many communities. The Police acknowledge we cannot arrest our way out of the problem.

The Drug Foundation welcomes the opportunity to co-host this talk as a contribution to debate about putting in place public health-based drug law. 

The purpose of the Global Commission on Drug Policy is to bring to the international level an informed, science-based discussion about humane and effective ways to reduce the harm caused by drugs; and drug control policies to people and societies.

Everyone with an interest in public health, criminal justice reform, social justice and effective public administration is invited to attend this public meeting.

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