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Greens urge methamphetamine inquiry

16 January, 2004

Greens urge methamphetamine inquiry

The Green Party has called for a parliamentary inquiry into the most effective ways to reduce methamphetamine abuse, following the release of a report that showed its use was becoming common among many sectors of society.

"Screaming headlines that 'hardened addicts' are finding more dangerous ways of using P obscure the fact that many average New Zealanders have turned to P," said Green Co-leader Rod Donald.

"We must take a serious look at why so many people have been exposed to this drug and work out the most effective way to stop the spread of the P epidemic.

"Anecdotally, there is much evidence to indicate the dangers this drug poses to individuals and our society but little thought has actually gone into finding ways to reverse the trends indicated by this new report on P," said Mr Donald.

The report's findings showed that an expert inquiry into the extent of P abuse was critical to developing positive and effective solutions, said Mr Donald.

"The Green Party have been voicing our concerns over the abuse of methamphetamine for many years now and we want to see an end to the P epidemic.

"What we don't need is the disingenuous rhetoric of Peter Dunne, whose response to most things is to blame the Greens for the nation's problems. It's a bit rich for him to challenge us to 'put up or shut up' when he repeatedly rejects our invitations to debate the issue of cannabis law reform in public meetings.

"Dunne refuses to face the truth that cannabis prohibition is the problem. Gang-operated tinny houses have flourished under cannabis prohibition and are clearly responsible for many people coming into contact with harder drugs in the first place.

"Last year's comprehensive Parliamentary report into cannabis confirmed that prohibition is the gateway, not cannabis itself, so I urge Mr Dunne to actually read the report before he continues to spin his web of deceit to the New Zealand public.

"Through their irresponsible refusal to even consider ending prohibition, people like Mr Dunne continue to prop up the gang economy. Obviously prohibition is not working, it never has worked and now it is time for New Zealand to work on solutions.

"By decriminalising personal use of cannabis we can strike at the heart of tinny houses and break the link to hard-drugs."

ENDS

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