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New report shows P action plan misguided

New report shows P action plan misguided

The Green Party drug policy spokesperson, Nandor Tanczos, today welcomed a report into the use of 'P' by Denis O'Reilly and commissioned by the Health Department, saying that it showed the Government had to rethink its strategy to combat pure methamphetamine.

"Mr O'Reilly has said that trying to police 'P' away will not work. It needs community level action both in informing people why not to use it, and in helping them get off when they do," said Nandor.

"The Government's plan of action on methamphetamines carefully works out how much more funding will go to police, but despite the promises, gives no dollar figure for increased funding to treatment or education.

"That shows where their priorities are," said Nandor.

"In my meetings with people on the frontline of the 'P' problem - users, families of users and treatment workers - the clear picture was that there is a lack of treatment facilities.

"The Government was quick to toughen sentences, but slow to take real steps to help slow the problem.

Nandor said that New Zealand's P epidemic has spiralled out of control because of the Government's continued refusal to take action on cannabis law reform.

"If the Parliament had moved to smash the illegal drug distribution networks when it was first warned about the dangers of 'P' some years ago, by enacting cannabis law reform, it is likely we would not have a 'P' epidemic today" said Nandor.

"Holland, with one of the lowest rates of hard drug addiction in Europe, has shown the effectiveness of cannabis law reform at separating the cannabis market from hard drugs, thereby making it less likely that minor cannabis users will come into contact with hard drugs."

"Right now we have a serious problem in New Zealand. The focus must be on reducing demand by combining credible and realistic information with effective treatment services.

"In the longer term, we need to break the link between cannabis use and hard drugs by changing the cannabis laws," said Nandor.

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