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UnitedFuture committed to tackling drugs

Wednesday 2 July 2008

UnitedFuture committed to tackling drugs

UnitedFuture MP Judy Turner has reiterated her party's stance on drugs following a recent WHO report that identified New Zealand as having the second highest rate of cannabis use among the 17 countries studied.

UnitedFuture won an assurance as part of the 2005 Confidence and Supply Agreement, that the Government will not support any legislative initiatives to decriminalise the recreational use of cannabis.

"It remains our policy to oppose the decriminalisation of cannabis for recreational use going into this election," said Mrs Turner.

"Further, we wish to focus resources to deal with the most socially harmful drugs as identified through the assessments of justice, scientific, education and health experts. The most socially harmful substances in New Zealand continue to be methamphetamine, cannabis, alcohol and tobacco."

"I am concerned that not enough is being done to break the cycle of drugs in this country, 62% of young adults have used cannabis by the time they reach 21, well above countries such as the Netherlands where it is freely available."

"It is obvious we have developed a real culture of substance abuse in this country, which includes a growing binge drinking problem."

"There is an urgent need to boost funding for drug treatment programmes and ensure that residential treatment centres are available and properly funded in each region."

"Substance abuse is also a major problem within our prisons, the majority of inmates suffer from drug or alcohol addictions and yet only 4% are provided with specialist treatment services."

"It is our policy to make drug and alcohol rehabilitation courses compulsory for inmates who have been identified with addictions," said Mrs Turner.

ENDS

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