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Drugs Already Affecting Education

Yet another warning bell has sounded for the Government on decriminalisation of cannabis, but they still aren't listening, National Education spokesperson Nick Smith said today.

"The latest school suspension figures show for the first time drugs are now the leading cause of suspensions. 1505 students were suspended for drugs, accounting for 30% of suspensions. This is testament to the difficulties talk about the decriminalisation of cannabis is causing our schools.

"When the Minister of Education, Prime Minister, Health Minister and Youth Affairs Minister are publicly supporting decriminalisation of the drug it sends a strong message to our young people that the drug is okay.

"We want young people in school learning, not smoking dope.

"Principals and Boards are pleading with the Government to stop any plans to decriminalise the drug. Youth Parliamentarians voted against it. Suspension figures show what uncertainty about the drug has done. I hate to think how many more suspensions there will be if the Government has its way and cannabis is decriminalised.

"The effect the uncertainty created by the Government is having on students is patently obvious. Today's announcement that a six-month select committee inquiry will go ahead will only make matters worse," Dr Smith said.


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