Drug user liberation: A cause for social work

a post by James Tiptree Sr.

In January this year, the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill had its first reading in Parliament. It now sits in front of the Select Committee, from whom a report is due by the end of July 2018. The Bill calls for an exception to the 1975 Misuse of Drugs Act by offering a statutory defence for people to use cannabis as long as they are sufficiently close to death (that is, terminally ill with 12 months left to live). This proposal has prompted a range of submissions – from professional bodies mainly concerned with regulation and with having a firm line  drawn between medical and recreational cannabis ; from organisations for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities who will remain unable to legally access  medical marijuana under this bill; and from groups that seek either the total legalisation of marijuana …or the total legalisation of all drugs.

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Crossing a line – Maria’s tale

a post by Anonymous student

Consider Maria*. From age seven, Maria grew up with multiple foster parents before moving into residential care at age 14. She had her first child at 18, her second at 21, both with a partner who is physically abusive towards her. Both children were removed from their care due to neglect and physical abuse. Maria became pregnant again at 23 and because of her history, was referred to an NGO, which provided weekly visits from a social worker. Due to the potential high risk of neglect and abuse, the third baby was removed immediately after it was born and placed into care. Maria’s visits from the social worker then stopped because she was no longer pregnant and there was no baby or child in the family. Maria was left to return to an abusive partner and overwhelming feelings of grief and loss.

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Is unconscious racism hard-wired into Aotearoa New Zealand society?

post by Annie Summerfield 

Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand (Aotearoa), disproportionately feature in the country’s most negative statistics across social, economic and political platforms.  Whether the disparities are in the areas of crime, education, health, homelessness or socioeconomic disadvantage, Māori feature strongly.  With Te Aniwa Hurihanganui reporting Māori youth are particularly at risk for committing suicide  , Sarah Monod de Froideville reporting on the over-representation of Maori in the youth justice system , and Māori being significantly more likely than non-Māori to be placed in state care, and to experience homelessness, for example, this arguably suggests the problem is not with Māori but, rather, as Dr Ian Hyslop points out, a result of institutional bias . 

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