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Government committed to methamphetamine action

Government committed to methamphetamine action

The Chair of the Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy Jim Anderton will lodge a notice of motion in the House this week on the reclassification of methamphetamine to a Class A drug. The reclassification is currently being considered by the Health Select Committee and needs approval of the House of Representatives before becoming law.

“The sooner this drug is reclassified the better. We are committed to greater powers for the Police when they suspect methamphetamine is being manufactured, sold or used,” Jim Anderton said.

Proposed new Police powers under the reclassification would mean that officers could search or seize without a warrant, if there is reasonable suspicion that an offence is being committed. An ‘A’ classification would also increase the penalties from 14 years imprisonment to life imprisonment for import, manufacture and supply of methamphetamine. Possession would now carry 6 months imprisonment or a $1000 fine, up from 3 months and $500.

Jim Anderton, said that he was pleased that last week the Health Select committee had heard evidence on the methamphetamine reclassification and he urged it to consider and make its report as soon as possible. Once the select committee reports to the House the motion lodged today can be debated and once passed the reclassification of this drug has passed the last Parliamentary hurdle to become law.

“The Labour Progressive Government is taking action because people can’t work or positively contribute to our society if they are hooked on methamphetamines, and we care about the high costs to individuals, families and communities,” said Jim Anderton.

The Ministerial Action Group on Alcohol and Drugs is responsible for the Government’s campaign to minimize harm caused by alcohol and illicit drug use. The plan will focus on reducing demand, controlling supply and limiting problems associated with alcohol and drug use. The Group includes Associate Health Minister, Jim Anderton; Justice Minister, Phil Goff; Education Associate Minister, Lianne Dalziel; Police Minister, George Hawkins; Youth Affairs Minister, John Tamihere; Customs Minister Rick Barker; and Health Associate Minister Damien O’Connor.

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