HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Judge Makes Case for Legalising All Drugs
Pubdate: Thu, 15 Apr 2004
Source: Nelson Mail, The (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2004 Independent Newspapers Limited
Author: Bridget Cull
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


The violence and addiction associated with drug use will only go away if
all drugs are made legal and treated equally, a former judge from America says.

Eleanor Schockett, from Florida, held an open discussion at Nelson MP Nick
Smith's office on Wednesday afternoon.

Health Action Trust worker Rosey Duncan said about 30 people attended the
two-hour talk in which Judge Schockett talked about what she called the
"war against the war on drugs".

She explained why drugs should be legalised while also keeping the audience
entertained with her own, tame experiences.

"I'm not doing this because I want permission to smoke pot. My drug of
choice is chocolate and if they decided to ban it because it leads to
obesity I would be the first on the bandwagon."

She worked as a judge for 12 years, sharing her time between criminal,
civil and family courts, and said her bid to stop drugs from being
demonised was now her life's work.

"People used to say to me 'what are you going to do when you retire' and I
said I'd like to do something to change drug policy because I know how bad
it is."

All drugs should be available by prescription at chemists and dispensed in
a clean and controlled environment, with medical professionals and
counsellors available, as was the practice in Switzerland, she said.

"There's probably no drug in the whole pharmacopoeia that won't be harmful
if it's wrongfully used. We need to target the underlying problem and the
person and not say, 'you can't have that drug'.

"It's when people can't get drugs that they become violent. It's like when
you can't get air and you need to breathe."

The judge is part of a group of three touring the country spreading the
message of the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition group.
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