Saturday, September 10, 2011

Peter Dunne and the smoking gun

A couple of days ago, Associate Minister of Health and new Drug Czar Peter Dunne released the government's response to the Law Commission's Controlling and Regulating Drugs Report, the review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. His written statement noted:
“It is the Government’s view that is not its role to initiate clinical trials on cannabis leaf or any other product or substance."

The National Drug Policy, first instituted in 1998 under the last National government, has this to say on drug research funding:
2.5 National Drug Policy Discretionary Fund

The National Drug Policy Discretionary Grant Fund (NDPDGF), established in 2004, provides government ministers involved with drug policy with access to a pool of funding for new initiatives or projects that fill gaps in drug policy work. The NDPDGF will continue to fund:
  • High-quality cross-departmental projects that support the advancement of the National Drug Policy
  • Projects that fill a gap which would otherwise remain unfilled due to not meeting a particular agency’s funding criteria
  • Projects that allow for forward planning and fast response by government agencies to changes in current and emerging drug trends.

The fund is jointly managed by the IACD and MCDP.

The NDPDGF has funded research into benzylpiperazine (BZP), a substance for which there was little knowledge world wide. It is expected that the NDPDGF will continue to be a source of funding for cutting-edge research and interim support for innovative approaches to drug issues.
It's not that the government doesn't fund drug research. It just wants to avoid any inconvenient truths on it's faith-based crusade of drug prohibition.