Elvis has left the building
In fact most likely Elvis has left the country altogether. As you do when you're standing trial for $2m worth of P.
And here's why he did a runner and why I for one do not blame Elvis for exiting abruptly:
The Judiciary are now smoking more fucking P than the dealers - a life sentence for meth!? A pharmaceutical crime gets life, and Emery - who stabbed and killed a 15 year old - gets just a couple of years. In fact pick just about any violent crime and compare it with what the judge gave to this person:
She said there was no doubt Rhodes, 53, was a menace to society and the human cost of his drug offending would have been great.
She said a life sentence was needed to deter Rhodes and others from similar offending and to protect the community.
Rhodes was part of a highly sophisticated and commercial drug ring which included his brother and four others.
The ring stockpiled the ingredients to make methamphetamine, made the drug and then supplied it to others.
Ahhhhh, yeeeaaaaahhhh... and Emery killed a kid. Manslaughterers, as long as they are white and middle class and the victim isn't, get less than half (and will serve much less) than what Rhodes' will - a mandatory ten to start.
I fail to see how a non-violent crime, the manufacture of a product that is bought at high prices by a small number of the population, warrants anything approaching life. The co-offenders sentences would indicate their crimes are worse than death as well:
Another member of the same ring, Stephen Kissling, 40, was jailed for 20 years for manufacturing methamphetamine with a minimum non-parole period of nine years.
Paul Robinson, 55, was jailed for 16 years with a non-parole period of seven years; Xing Su, 24, was jailed for four years and nine months; Richard Rhodes, 58, was jailed for six years and six months; and Glenn Gollop, 37, for 12 years with a minimum non-parole period of six years.
Non-parole. Spiteful, hysterical and completely disproportionate.
Detective Senior Sergeant Bruce Howard, said [...]
"The courts are recognising the heinous nature of offences that are caused directly as a result of the manufacture and use of methamphetamine.
No, the courts are the ciphers for the (ironically) over-hyped and frenzied police-led, media-fuelled (ironically once again as everyone from news readers down are frying up in media/"creative" circles) anti-P mania, backed as it is by the reactionary public and the knee-jerking politicians. It is the sentences that are heinous.
I've served time with hardened meth fiends and they told me P was an evil substance, that they went for many days without sleep becoming ever more paranoid and agitated and that the drug was addictive and turned them into unmanageable, unbearable arseholes. That's their first-hand experience of using P. Using P heavily. Some even went on to say that when they got out they would as soon as they possibly could consume the maximum human capacity for methamphetamine and go on a crime binge. It doesn't sound advisable to use it in a binge capacity - I would reply, and I would tell them that Darren MacDonald, the superb TV3 newsreader, did some of his finest work as a broadcaster when he was as fried as chips. But he managed it, he used it wisely, he was never professionally compromised as far as I recall except for the charge itself. But no bingeing. No staying awake for six straight days with six trays of Woodies, a sawn off shotgun and a girlfriend meaner than you - FFS it's such an obviously flawed lifestyle choice.
But some people - and many were alcoholic - like their drugs and they love their P and they will do and pay what they have to to get it. If it wasn't P it would be another letter of the alphabet with those types. I got the impression that their criminality was assisted by P rather than caused by it.
So why is P so bad again?
Let's use the news report's two ones:
- from the police:
the heinous nature of offences that are caused directly as a result of the manufacture and use of methamphetamine.
- from the bench:
menace to society and the human cost of his drug offending would have been great.
So P is bad because other - presumably innocent - people are "heinously" affected.
Accepting they are "heinously" affected we have to ask why are they and what can we do, policy-wise, to minimise the level of heiniousity and/or minimise the numbers affected by heiniousity:
If people commit a crime, or prostitute themselves etc, to pay for P then it is the price that is the issue. If that is the issue then lowering the price by making it legal might be one answer. But one of those answers cannot credibly be: send people to prison for Life because people like to put things into pipes and smoke them. The reason it is expensive is because the government sets the price effectively through risk: Class A. If they made P Class C then its price would fall most likely.
If people commit a crime, or prostitute themselves, neglect their kids, under-perform at work etc, because they are addicted to P, then mental health is the issue and some form of therapy, or clinic to treat their addiction might be one answer. We don't solve alcoholism by banning alcohol and we can't send people to prison for Life just because people like to put things into pipes and smoke them.
There is no third point here, not really. Availability or distribution or imperfect information etc, ie. the lengths people will go through to get it is reflected in the first bullet point - price - which also reflects the other assumed evil "the pusher" who is motivated only in pushing drugs that have high profit margins and therefore are usually Class A. The government controls what price it is through the class tariff and enforcement and the judiciary underscores it all with Life sentences. If there was a third point it is that it is only a self-harming, victimless crime after all, or that it is not self-harming either (and I know that isn't true from the people I've talked to who became addicted). The conclusion being that we can't send people to prison for Life just because people like to put things into pipes and smoke them. That's not how this issue should be dealt with. But that is what they are doing.
A Life sentence is more "heinous" than anything that a P supplier ever caused to an innocent party alone; because his silent partners in the drug business are the government and the police. Without their hyper-criminalisation of methamphetamine much of the damage caused by P would not exist. The market - that is to say the receptive audience - for cheap P may well extend to all levels of society, but is it really that much deeper and wider than what it is already at current market prices? No one wants to see primary school kids picking packets up off the street and experimenting, but we are probably already at that point in some areas and a lowering of the price, I think, will not substantially increase the number of addicts (and if it does go down it would be because a stronger letter drug was being made).
There is a lot of remarkable histrionics from politicians and police and the media when it comes to P - crusading zealotry and demonisation that leads to utterly disproportionate responses to (how shall I put this) human frailty... that person who paid hush money to keep his girlfriend from telling the cops that he bashed her - he's got his gig back on radio. I believe the matter is before the courts. He seems to have conceded that he is a violent offender and yet MacDonald - for smoking P - is black-listed.
On February 8 Wu's lawyer Ron Mansfield told police his client had disappeared.
A warrant has been issued for Wu's arrest and police are calling for any information on his whereabouts.
The police want to know any information on the whereabouts of Elvis.
Doh! And double doh! with the timing - the Minister for Courts on a tour of Auckland:
How's that performance and circumstances for you minister? (or is this possibly something they can pin on the embattled Corrections CEO?)
If you have seen Elvis or know where Elvis might be please contact the NZ Police.