Mexican cartels are using local crooks to target New Zealand in what an organized crime expert has called a "perfect storm".
Foreign drug barons have changed the landscape of cocaine and methamphetamine dealing here, Detective Superintendent Greg Williams told Stuff.
High local demand, abundant overseas supply and huge profits meant battle-hardened foreign networks were now drawn to the domestic New Zealand drugs trade.
This situation is the result of many decades of prohibition of both Cocaine and the Coca shrub (Erythroxylum coca) from which is the Cocaine alkaloid is extracted. This problem could easily be sorted by legalizing the Coca shrub for home-grow and supplying Coca leaves and extracts legally under the PSA (Psychoactive Substances Act) via strictly regulated outlets, with a portion of the sales funding harm reduction solutions.
Even cocaine itself would be better controlled as a prescription medicine. Even Big Pharma is better than Big Cartel.
When Methamphetamine really took off in New Zealand in the early 2000's thanks to a decline in the supply of safer drugs such as MDMA and LSD, a huge decline in meth use was seen thanks to the supply of legal party pills containing BZP and other Piperazines. But since the Key government banned legal party pills, Meth has sadly again risen steeply in popularity to where it is now the most common illicit drug around. With no other legal alternatives available the market is also ripe for cocaine, cartels and all that that brings with it.
If the The New Zealand government hopes to have a chance at avoiding the coming snow storm they need to act now to ensure that there are safe legal alternatives to Cocaine and Methamphetamine available, produced domestically and strictly regulated under the PSA (Psychoactive Substances Act).
The obvious place to start would be the Coca shrub itself. Used safely for thousands of years in South America by laborers, the plant itself allows the workers a euphoric stimulation without any of the health problems associated with Cocaine use and supply.
Besides Coca, other natural stimulants such as Khat, Ephedra and Kratom need to be made available under the PSA, offering a range of viable safer legal alternatives to impure and dangerous street drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine.