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P moves a pay-off, pure and simple

P moves a pay-off, pure and simple

Speed will continue to burn a hole in New Zealand society if the Government doesn't get serious about the methamphetamine epidemic, Green MP Nandor Tanczos said today.

The Green spokesperson for Drug Law Reform rejected the Government's reclassification of methamphetamine, commonly known as 'P', as a misguided sop to curry favour with minor parties for support.

"I am extremely concerned about the use of P in New Zealand and I am keen to work towards a realistic solution with the Government," said Nandor.

"The solution lies in reducing demand, through education and treatment, and reducing supply by targeting precursor drugs such as pseudoephedrine.

"Raising the penalties would not achieve this. This rescheduling is just a budget-week buy-off to guarantee the Government's minor party support."

Nandor said the Green Party would oppose the notice of motion when Parliament debates the Misuse Of Drugs (Changes to Controlled Substances) Order tonight. If, as expected, Methamphetamine is reclassified as a Class A drug it will have a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

"If the Government was serious about putting an end to the P epidemic it would commit real resources to education and treatment but the Government seems unwilling to do this," said Nandor.

"I challenge the Government to provide any credible evidence that increasing the penalties will actually reduce the amount of people using the drug. The reality is there is little real difference in the length of sentences handed down to people convicted of Class A and Class B drug offences.

"No more speed labs will be busted as a result of this move and no new treatment centres will be opened. This is just window dressing."

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