Mike Yardley: Legalising cannabis ‘not in the public interest’

first_imgStuff co.nz 22 August 2016Family First Comment: A superb read. “The NZ Drug Foundation has steadily become a strident proponent for law reform, to the point that they now sound more like glorified pushers, campaigning for “the removal of criminal penalties for drug use, possession and social supply.””Exactly!  If a referendum was held on legalising cannabis for personal use, would you support it? You’d have to be off your scone.The New Zealand Drug Foundation (NZDF) has been crowing about the results of its self-selecting poll, indicating broad public support for decriminalising cannabis for personal use.The NZDF has steadily become a strident proponent for law reform, to the point that they now sound more like glorified pushers, campaigning for “the removal of criminal penalties for drug use, possession and social supply.”Prime John Key deserves credit for doubling down and refusing to budge.As does the Labour Party, despite momentarily flirting with the notion of a referendum recently.Unsurprisingly, the Green Party, which has long been over-populated by potheads, is itching for grow-your-own personal supply to be legalised.According to the United Nations, New Zealand has one of the highest rates of cannabis users in the world, with 9-14 per cent of Kiwis routinely getting wasted, four times the global average.The NZDF argues it’s a complete waste of “hundreds of thousands of police hours” trying to enforce the law, criminalising and imprisoning Kiwis for low-level possession.Just because tens of thousands of Kiwis choose to smoke dope in defiance of the law, is not a compelling reason to legitimatise their lifestyle. Forty-two per cent of front line police officer hours are consumed on dealing to family violence.If you apply the extreme, absurd and self-serving logic of the legalise lobby, the police should surrender to family violence too, because so many Kiwis are indulging in this sick and twisted national sport.Ditto for child abuse, tax evasion, drink-driving, shop-lifting, or any other social scourge you care to name.Two per cent of Kiwis have graduated from the gateway drug of cannabis to become meth-heads. Should we adopt a similarly defeatist attitude to methamphetamine’s legal status too?Clearly, more focus is rightly being placed on not just treating illicit drug use as a criminal issue, but a health issue.According to Treasury, only 6 per cent of cannabis users are collared by the police. The overwhelming majority of those who are sprung for possession, aren’t imprisoned.The police have increasingly adopted are far pragmatic approach, deploying pre-charge warnings and diversion instead. But recidivist and unrepentant users are convicted. The police don’t actively target low-level cannabis users.Being charged for possession generally only comes about as a consequence of being arrested for higher-level offending, like burglary.The other great myth peddled by the legalisation lobby is that cannabis use is a victimless crime.As the National Committee for Addiction Treatment points out, 55 per cent of our prison inmates are cannabis dependent. It fuels crime.And we’re all paying the price for cannabis dependence through its devastating impact on mental health.Is it really just a coincidence that Northland, our cannabis capital, also has one of the world’s highest rates of schizophrenia?The insidious prevalence of cannabis-induced schizophrenia, psychosis, depression and anxiety is undeniable. As is slothfulness.Of the 200,000 working-age and able bodied Kiwis drawing a benefit, what proportion would rather have a joint, than a job?Never before, have we had more taxpayer-funded treatment service providers. But only the individual can summon the will to start transforming their life. They need to be vigorously encouraged to take those steps.Globally, it’s been a long-established ploy by the likes of NORML (the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) to cynically hitch medical marijuana to the same wagon as recreational drug use, to soften up the public to complete capitulation.Liberalising the law to help terminal patients in pain access products like Sativex​ is one thing. But rolling over on recreational drug use is not in the public interest.http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/83410482/Mike-Yardley-Legalising-cannabis-not-in-the-public-interestlast_img read more

Accra City Hotel shows class at CDH Olympiad

first_imgAfter a thrilling and dazzling tournament, Accra City Hotel (formerly Novotel) emerged Champions ofthe maiden CDH Olympiad (Invitational Tournament) held at the Lizzy Sports Complex. Twelve companies under the CDH umbrella locked horns in what was evidently, the most memorable sporting event in the life of the group of companies. Accra City Hotel clinched the enviable top spot with 340 points, followed by Phoenix Insurance with 330 and then CDH with 265 points. Phoenix Life Assurance Limited and Global Cinemas/Functions Risk Management Limited followed in descending order.Accra City Hotel won the tournament by winning some events and placing well in other sports.The games played included 100 meter sprints for males and females, relay race, shrinking island, water carry race, balloon team challenge, soccer tournament, among others.There was an exciting curtain-raiser soccer match between executives/managers across the CDH Group and general staff. The Group CEO of the CDH Group, Emmanuel Adu-Sarkodee, in his closing remarks, charged all staff across the CDH Group to celebrate sporting events like the CDH Olympiad.“It’s time to go big with our yearly corporate fun games. We have come very far and we have to take it to another level.“We’re now prepared to face other organisations who may want to engage in sporting competition with us. Before the close of this year, we will play one of the big banks in Ghana in a thrilling football match and win,” Mr. Adu-Sarkodee said to the delight of staff members of the CDH Group.Hundreds of staff members of the CDH Group across the country participated in the tightly-contested competition.Participating companies were CDH Savings and Loans Limited, CDH Asset Management Limited, CDH Securities Limited, CDH Commodities Limited and CDH Engineering Solutions Limited. Others were Phoenix Health Insurance, Phoenix Life Assurance and Phoenix Insurance. The rest were Accra City Hotel, Global Cinemas and Functions Risk Management Limited, an associate company of CDH.last_img read more