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Anderton Welcomes Anti Drug Message

Anderton Welcomes Anti Drug Message In ‘Treatment Works’ Week

Jim Anderton has welcomed Treatment Works Week which was launched today and the Coalition Government announcement to ensure there is a drugs helpline.

“Drug abuse is a an economic development issue. Many of our regional communities have skills and labour shortages and high unemployment. One of the barriers to up-skilling some young people in regions so they can work is drug mis-use.

“I can’t promote and develop regional development programmes to help New Zealanders be all they can and at the same time sanction a softly soflty message on drug abuse.

“Last week I was appalled to hear that Kapiti Primary School was forced to expel five students for selling and using cannabis at school.

“New Zealand children are never going to be able to fulfill their potential if they are regularly stoned from a very young age.

“Yesterday the Progressive Coalition announced its anti-drug policy.

“It is a cornerstone commitment that if we are part of a new government, we want to see an across the board anti-drugs strategy.

“We will seek to: introduce special penalties to people who give drugs to children; launch drug free publicity campaigns; work with school principals to get drugs out of schools and strengthen anti-drug prison rehabilitation programmes.

“This is a nationwide problem. Young children should not be getting stoned. Parents and adults should not be giving young people harmful substances that will affect their growth and development. Schools should not have to deal with this issue.

“We can’t as a society discourage smoking tobacco on the one hand while being soft on smoking marijuana, which is at least as harmful as cigarettes on the other.

“Drug abuse is an unseen epidemic and the time has come to say enough,” said Jim Anderton.

Ends

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