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Report underscores tough-on-drugs rationale

Media release

Report underscores rationale for government's tough-on-drug suppliers stance

A report commissioned by the Police Department into Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) use underscores why the government is pursuing tough-on-drug-supplier laws and regulations, Jim Anderton said today.

"The report, prepared by Massey University’s Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation Unit or SHORE highlighted again the strong link between crime, mental illness and social dysfunction, on the one hand, and dangerous illegal drugs such as methamphetamine, ecstasy and crystal meths, on the other.

Today's report found that sixty percent of frequent methamphetamine users have noticed more law enforcement activity directed against methamphetamine in the last six months. A third of frequent users reported more arrests of other users they knew.

"We all know that Amphetamine Type Stimulant drugs are a serious blight on our communities, to families and of course to the individuals who use them. The message from today's report is that we must continue to invest in Police and Customs and to deliver high penalties on the peddlers of these insidious illegal drugs so that they know society has no tolerance for their trade

This year's Budget boosted efforts to cut drug abuse by $53.6 million over four years.

The coalition government's National Drug Policy is multifaceted and includes investment in treatment programmes for the victims of the drug peddlers, investment in demand-reduction programmes run at a community level as well as much stronger enforcement against the suppliers of dangerous drugs.

In the latter category, Jim Anderton, who is chair of the Ministerial Committee on Drugs, recently introduced the Misuse of Drugs Amendment No. 3 Bill.

Jim Anderton has also signalled the reclassification of MDMA, commonly known as "Ecstasy" or ‘E,' as a Class B1 controlled drug, up from Class B2 at present. The government has also signalled that it is to develop a civil forfeiture regime to improve the effectiveness of criminal asset recovery laws.

ENDS

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