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UF stands firm against Greens’ soft-sell on drugs

Media Statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 19 July 2005

Dunne: UF stands firm against Greens’ soft-sell on drugs

United Future leader Peter Dunne today reiterated that cannabis would remain illegal for as long as United Future was part of any government arrangement, as the Greens’ Nandor Tanczos announced a Member’s Bill “trying to soften up” cannabis law.

“His Bill is thin-end-of-the-wedge stuff for a push further down the road for full legalising of cannabis.

“United Future stands clearly opposed to any move towards legalising cannabis and we renew our challenge to all other parties to come out and tell the public exactly where they stand on drugs,” Mr Dunne said.

“From day one, we have taken the position that drugs are a scourge on society and ruin young lives, so we make no apology for taking a hard line,” he said.

United Future last month launched a detailed drugs policy including specialist drugs courts with a treatment as well as sentencing mandate, tougher penalties for all drug dealing, including cannabis, and harsher sentences for those found guilty of dealing to young people.

“United Future is the only party that unequivocally takes drugs seriously and if we weren’t here, cannabis would be legal today,” he said.

“Labour and National need to know that the price of United Future’s support post-election will be maintaining the current legal status of cannabis. That is non-negotiable.

“Neither party has a drugs policies and the public has a right to know where they stand on a particularly important and social and criminal issue.

“The public need to see a commitment from both parties to keeping New Zealand’s young people as safe as possible from the scourge of drugs,” Mr Dunne said.

ENDS

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