OPINION: When sex work was decriminalised in 2003, it made sense to me. Shining some legislative light on an industry that had functioned in regulatory darkness for millennia seemed the right thing to do, at last allowing health and safety standards, tax obligations, and employment laws into workspaces of the industry’s staff, clients and business owners.
By most accounts, the Prostitution Reform Act took the crime out of sex services in New Zealand. After 15 years and many evaluations, including surveying sex workers, many now agree this contentious legislation has had a positive effect on, at least, the working environment and safety of sex workers and their clients.
Could cannabis users benefit from similar thinking? Should we get the growth and sale of marijuana out of dank tinny houses and gang-controlled crops and into the light of our everyday?