Retired Sergeant, New Zealand Police Uniform Branch
Otago, New Zealand
"Legalization will free up much-needed resources and funding, allowing law enforcement and correctional facilities to better address serious crime."
Angus Fisk began a 35-year career in the New Zealand criminal justice system serving for seven years in the NZ Police Uniform Branch. He was promoted to Sergeant within three days of attaining the required ¬five years of service. He also served as a probation officer with the NZ Justice Department, where he gained an in-depth knowledge of alcohol and drug abuse treatment.
After obtaining a diploma in social work and completing training as a psychotherapist, he established and ran a prison-based program called ADAPT, which prepared inmates for entry into alcohol and drug treatment program. ADAPT earned praise from many treatment agencies as well as the Judiciary and the Minister of Justice at the time.
Angus also worked as a therapist with the Salisbury Street Foundation, a community-based rehabilitation program and other agencies. He then moved on to the Child Youth and Family Service, initially in child protection and then working with young offenders within the CYF National Secure Unit.
Among other experiences, Angus’s varied criminal justice career led him to observe that drug prohibition has never worked and can never work, and that legalization would be a better solution. “Legalizing and regulating all drugs will bring an end to much of the harm done to individuals and society by a punitive law enforcement approach to the drug problem,” he says. “Legalization will free up much-needed resources and funding, allowing law enforcement and correctional facilities to better address serious crime.”
Angus has an unusual diversity of life experience; having left school at the age of 15, he has also worked as a marine engineer, a journalist and a Territorial soldier. He still occasionally consults as a forensic social worker in private practice. He has made case law twice in his career, and one case was the seminal case establishing the police right to undertake random breath tests in drunk driving cases. Both cases remain unchallenged.