I have bugger all time for drugs and druggies, but I have even less time for those intellectually lazy bastards who think they can solve the drug problem through Prohibition.
Here’s an excerpt from ACT leader Rodney Hide’s recent Parliamentary speech opposing the “Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill”.
ACT’s two MPs and the Green’s six MPs voted against the rest of the House on this Bill.
Makes me proud to be ACT!
Let me explain to Mr Cosgrove why we have rules and why we do not legislate for everything. We have rules in order to protect people’s rights and to uphold the rights of citizens in a free State. That is why we have rules, that is why we have a State, that is why we have a court system, and that is why we have police.
We do not have rules to stop people expressing their political views, to stop people taking risks, or to stop people making terribly stupid mistakes, because that is part of being an adult and a responsible human being.
We cannot sit here in this House and legislate away all harm, as this Government thinks it can. We cannot actually legislate for good behaviour, but we can legislate in a way that protects people’s basic rights. I have to say that when we go beyond that, then I think that this Parliament overreaches itself. It suggests, somehow, that the Government and this Parliament are the solution to problems that we cannot solve.
Are we going to live in a society that says that this Parliament will decide all risk, that this Parliament will decide what is right and wrong, and that if Parliament has not banned it, it is okay to use – which is exactly what Judy Turner’s position was.
I abhor drugs, actually. I do not understand why anyone would want to take any, as I think that the most wonderful thing in the universe is the human mind because of what it can grasp, comprehend, and conceive. I do not know why anyone would want to be taking drugs and playing with it.
But my mind also says to me that we are barking up the wrong tree in thinking somehow that we can pass a law and ban party pills, and that prohibition will somehow work.
I find it astonishing that in the year 2007 we have, with Judy Turner, a serious political party that is saying: “Oh well, you know, if we had our time again we would ban alcohol and cigarettes, and we would ban a whole number of things; it is just that at the time we didn’t think of it”.
I have to say that that is not the sort of society I think that New Zealanders want to live in. I think New Zealanders want to live in a society where they do have some freedom, that coming along with that freedom is some responsibility, and that it is not Parliament or Government that decides how they should live, what they should take, and what risks are acceptable to them.