Prohibition’s horrible tradeoffs

By Eric Crampton 25/07/2015


You grow pot in an illegal market; your toddler daughter eats a lot of it. If you take her to the emergency room, you’ll likely be arrested. If you don’t, very bad things could happen.

I applaud Shain Iperen for finally making the right choice.

But we should condemn prohibitionist approaches for making that a hard decision.

A drug expert has called on Northlanders to keep all drugs out of children’s reach after an 11-month-old girl became seriously ill from eating cannabis her drug-dealing father left in the kitchen.

The father, Shain Iperen, was a drug dealer who only sought medical help for the girl 24 hours after she ate the dope, but initially denied any exposure by the child to drugs when questioned by doctors.

The 27-year-old only admitted what happened to her after toxicology results at Whangarei Hospital showed an extremely high level – at the upper most limit – of screening undertaken for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the active ingredient in cannabis) present in her urine.

The toddler was semi-comatose, unresponsive to voice, and only responsive to stimuli by movement of her limbs when brought to the hospital on February 27.

Iperen pleaded guilty in Whangarei District Court to two charges of dealing with cannabis oil, one of ill-treatment of a child, and a representative charge of manufacturing cannabis oil.

In how many US states must marijuana be legalised before New Zealand finally figures out that the UN convention is a bit less binding that it’s thought?