Wednesday, December 01, 2004

First select committee appearance cut short

Just got back home from appearing before the Health select committee, which is currently hearing submissions regarding the Misuse of Drugs (No 3) Bill. This nasty Bill wants to extend police and Customs powers above and beyond the call of reason, make possession of Coldrex without an excuse a crime, and repeatedly strip search people held on suspicion of concealing drugs internally.

Now I'll be the first to admit I'm not the best in front of crowds, but it would have been good to at least have a chance to finish what I had to say. These are public submissions after all. After spending hours upon hours researching this thing, following due proceesses and deadlines, I would have thought they could at least humour me for ten minutes. Nup.

Health Chair Steve Chadwick, a model of politeness, felt they shouldn't take up too much of my time. I tried to point out I was free until 4:20, but to no avail. So much for the many valid uses for amphetamine, ethedrine and pseudoethedrine, which would be affected by the P witch hunt. So much for the demonstration of social and economic sense behind government-controlled meth clinics.

In fairness, I can see why I was shut down. Everyone else who gave submissions at the meeting was an expert. The Drug Policy Foundation were there talking to the guy from the Needle Exchange Program in Auckland. Sage professionals filled the room, lamenting the failure of prohibition to prevent drug abuse, and were heard by the committe chair in rapt awe and attention. Me? I was with the NORML ppl.

Ah well, "Nobody Takes Me Seriously Anyway," as Split Enz used to say.